Employees and volunteers from the Trust to attend Special Service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate NHS75

Date: 03/07/2023 | Category: News 2023

Seven employees and volunteers from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust will join their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, other NHS staff, senior government and political leaders, health leaders and celebrities at a service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the NHS 75th birthday on the 5th July.

Nurses Anne Hutton, Michelle Layson and Ann Clairmonte-Rajab, occupational therapist Claire Farrant, consultant Ralph Robertson and volunteer Trevor Hudson were all chosen to represent the Trust due to their outstanding contributions to healthcare and consistently going above and beyond to look after people both in their own homes as well as in our hospitals.

In addition, the Trust is delighted that May Parsons, one of our senior nurses who delivered the world’s first vaccine outside of a clinical trial in December 2020, will carry the George Cross into the Abbey in a procession. May received the medal from Queen Elizabeth II, along with NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard and representatives from the other UK health services at Windsor Castle in July 2022.

The Trust’s Chief Nurse, Karen Bonner, will also be in attendance and we are very proud that both Karen and May have recently been recognised by the Nursing Times as two of 75 nurses and midwives nationally who have positively shaped the NHS over the past 75 years or are doing so right now.

Commenting on the NHS 75th celebrations, Neil Macdonald, CEO of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The NHS holds a significant place in the hearts of the British people, and rightly so. For three quarters of a century, it has been a shining example of compassion, dedication, and excellence in healthcare.

I am proud of the part we play in ensuring our communities receive the highest quality care and support, often at the most vulnerable times in their lives. We have almost 7,000 dedicated colleagues and volunteers and they all deserve to be recognised for their contribution to delivering personal and compassionate healthcare to the people of Buckinghamshire.”

May Parsons, Associate Chief Nurse at the Trust added: “It was one of the greatest honours of my life to be one of those who received the George Cross from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth last year and it will be another enormous privilege and ‘pinch-me’ moment to carry the Cross as part of the procession into Westminster Abbey on Wednesday.

“The service and other activities this week provide NHS staff and volunteers, and everyone else across the country too, with a perfect opportunity to reflect on what the health service has achieved over the last 75 years and how far we have come.“

The service will include an address by NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard.

Prayers will be read by health and social care secretary Steve Barclay, chief nurse Dame Ruth May, NHS national medical director Professor Sir Stephen Powis, chief allied health professions officer Prof Suzanne Rastick OBE, and Richard Webb-Stevens, a paramedic who was first on the scene of the Westminster Bridge terror attack and who holds the Queen’s Ambulance Medal for Distinguished Service.

Testimonies will also be given by Dame Elizabeth Anionwu OM, the UK’s first sickle cell nurse, academic and author, Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together, and Dr Martin English and Dr Michael Griksaitis, NHS consultants who jointly led a team who brought 21 Ukrainian children with cancer over to the UK from Poland in March 2022, following the Russian invasion.