Gateshead Health staff reflect on attending the service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate NHS75

There have been a number of NHS 75 celebrations taking place and on Wednesday 5 July, five members of Gateshead Health had the incredible opportunity to attend the multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey in London. These individuals were nominated by their colleagues to represent the organisation. They joined 2,200 staff and volunteers from across the country in this momentous event.

The service, attended by TRHs The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, started with a procession of the George Cross. This prestigious award was presented to the NHS in 2022 by HM The Queen, symbolising the nation’s gratitude and recognition for the exceptional services provided by the healthcare sector.

We spoke to them about their experience in attending and here is what they had to say:

Allison Grapes, Corporate Nurse Lead for Registered Nurse Workforce including international recruitment, expressed her thoughts on the experience, stating, “It was a very humbling experience. Great to sit alongside other NHS colleagues.” Her sentiments capture the sense of unity and pride that permeated the event, as healthcare professionals from various backgrounds came together to celebrate the NHS.

Picture of staff at Westminster Abbey

Sushama Harikrishnan, a Consultant Community Paediatrician at Gateshead Health NHS, also shared her feelings about being selected to represent her organization at this historic occasion. She said, “I felt honoured to represent Gateshead Health NHS at this historic event. I am always proud to be part of the NHS. It was a really memorable experience.”

Pictures of Gateshead Health staff at Westminster Abbey

Lynne Tweedy, Clinical Operations Manager in the Community Business Unit said: “It was such an amazing experience, having the service in such a beautiful venue, Westminster Abbey made it even more incredible. The service itself was so moving and uplifting, an experience I will never forget.”

The NHS 75 Westminster celebrations were not only a commemoration of the NHS’s remarkable journey over the past 75 years but also a testament to the dedication and commitment of its staff. This event allowed healthcare professionals to come together, share their experiences, and draw inspiration from one another. It served as a reminder of the profound impact the NHS has had on the lives of millions of people and the crucial role it continues to play in the wellbeing of the nation.

Westminster Abbey service for NHS75

The experience of attending the multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey left a lasting impression on the Gateshead Health staff members and all felt honoured and privileged to have been able to attend.