Happy 75th birthday to the NHS!

Happy 75th birthday!

Hooray!! We are 75 years old today! 

On 5 July 1948, the National Health Service was created. 75 years on we are marking this momentous occasion at SHSC. 

Sharon Mays, Chair of SHSC, said: “5 July 2023 marks 75 years of the National Health Service. The NHS treats over a million people a day in England and touches all of our lives. When it was founded in 1948, the NHS was the first universal health system to be available to all, free at the point of delivery. It is truly unique and treasured by so many.  

“In Sheffield we are celebrating in many ways. Today we’ve joined forces with Sheffield Hallam University who play a vital role in nurturing the next generation of nurses, allied health professionals and many more. Together we will be celebrating 75 years of the NHS by concentrating on wellbeing. The wellbeing of NHS staff is key to ensuring we have a happy, healthy and fulfilled workforce, which in turn leads to better outcomes and experiences for service users. 

“I want to say a huge thank you to our NHS staff. You are the heart of the NHS. Thank you for your hard work, commitment, dedication, and everything you do every day for those we support. Happy 75th birthday.” 

Find out more about the exciting ways we are celebrating the birthday of the service today and over the year:

Celebration event

This afternoon we are hosting a joint celebration event in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, focusing on celebrating all the best bits of the NHS and inspiring the next generation of the workforce. 

Great staff giveaway 

For the last month we have been giving away daily prizes to Team SHSC! The prizes have all been kindly donated by local businesses and organisations. 

We’ve had Everly Pregnant Brothers tickets and CDs, a Henderson’s Relish Case, Climbing Hangar experiences, tickets to The Leadmill, a Sheffield FC matchday package, some goodies from Bradfield Brewery and experiences like tickets to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Manor Lodge, the National Videogame Museum and lots, lots more!  

There are some final very exciting prizes up for grabs today. Keep your eyes on our social media to see who has won

Parkrun for the NHS 

This Saturday we will be helping the NHS to takeover parkruns across the country as we celebrate the birthday with a wave of thousands of blue runners. 

We have some special running tops which will be on display so keep your eyes out for those at Sheffield’s parkrun events. 

And come along and join the blue wave yourself on Saturday 8 July! 

‘Here is a place’ by Danaé Wellington 

A poem has been written by Danaé Wellington, Sheffield’s Poet Laureate, in collaboration with SHSC to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NHS. 

We asked Danaé to create a piece which would honour the peoples who use our services and the staff who keep them running. 

Danaé hopes that this poem speaks on behalf of all staff and service users and encapsulates the strength and determination of the NHS going forward. 

75 trees for 75 years

On Thursday 8 June we kicked off these celebrations by planting the first of 75 trees that we have committed to planting this year, in a ceremony at our Grenoside Grange site

We buried a time capsule alongside it which included a copy of our NHS75 poem, a newspaper from the day, artwork from service users at Forest Close and a ‘hello my name is...’ NHS badge. 

The ceremony was attended by staff, service users, the councillor for West Ecclesfield, the Ecclesfield Parish Chair, Danaé Wellington and our Chair, Sharon Mays.

Collaborative art work

Across the trust there have also been several art initiatives taking place, including a collaborative mosaic that brings together community service users and people on wards to create a large collaborative mosaic artwork to be displayed at an SHSC site.

There will also be one metre high, 3D ‘NHS 75’ letters making their debut at the celebration gala later today where the trust will be inviting staff and service users to doodle their thanks to the NHS before touring them across our services in the coming weeks.

Sheffield staff at Westminster Abbey service

Staff members from SHSC will join their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, senior government and political leaders, health leaders and celebrities at a service at Westminster Abbey. The service, to be held at 11am, will include an address by NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard. 

NHS 1000 miles

Our staff have committed to walking, running, swimming or cycling (or a combination) the distance of 1000 miles this year. As well as being a great way to mark the birthday, physical activity is good for your body and mind. 

You can read one of our staff members' experiences on the challenge here.

Light up blue 

This evening we will be lighting up our Michael Carlisle Centre and Netherthorpe House buildings in blue to round off a day of celebrations. 

We will be joining other buildings across the city including Sheffield Town Hall.

Some special happy birthday messages

There are a few people who have recorded a special message to say happy birthday to everybody at SHSC and in the NHS!

These will be posted on our social media channels today so keep you eyes peeled for who they are...

75 years and more

Collage of NHS and healthcare staff, some from Victorian times and some from modern day

When the NHS was founded in 1948, what eventually became SHSC was operating as Middlewood Mental Hospital, a development of the South Yorkshire Asylum which had opened in 1872. 

The Victorian approach to mental health was about containment and referred to patients as ‘inmates’ or ‘lunatics’. But as understanding advanced, so did the treatment provided. 

A 1967 edition of the hospital’s Contact magazine said: “Yesterday has gone, even though we live sometimes under its shadow. Today is here with all its opportunities and achievements. But tomorrow has yet to dawn with its known and unknown challenges. Let us learn from the past. Let us work in the present. Let us build for the future.” 

By 1996 the hospital was closed and SHSC now has a focus on caring for people in their own communities and on recovery, while talking therapies and self-help materials are championed too. 

We are moving to a culture of care where patients and staff feel safe and where therapeutic interventions are at the heart of everything we do. 

Environments are paramount to this approach and new therapeutic areas are being built with access to gym facilities, sensory gardens and welcoming bedrooms and shared spaces. These have been designed to help people get better quicker and learn techniques to help them stay well for longer.

How are you celebrating?

The NHS belongs to all of us, so maybe you are celebrating this anniversary in your own way. Maybe you’re joining parkrun for the NHS, painting rainbows or holding a tea party?

We would love to hear from you about anything you are doing to mark the occasion. Let us know at communications@shsc.nhs.uk