TIM LOUGHTON: Nominate your NHS champions for awards

On July 5, the NHS will celebrate its 70th birthday. Working alongside a range of partners, NHS England and NHS Improvement are putting together a programme of events to mark the milestone.

Tim with Kym Marsh, Labour MP Sharon Hodgson and Andy Clark-Coates, one of the founders of Saying Goodbye
Tim with Kym Marsh, Labour MP Sharon Hodgson and Andy Clark-Coates, one of the founders of Saying Goodbye

Since its creation in 1948, the NHS has held dear to its core principles of universal access to a comprehensive service, free at the point of delivery, based on need and not the ability to pay. Long may it continue.

Earlier this month I attended one of those events at Westminster with the launch of the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards

The audience was captivated by an octogenarian doyen of the NHS who had worked as a nurse before the creation of the NHS, given all her working life to the NHS and still works as a trustee of this award scheme.

She described how the day before the creation of the NHS it would have cost 1/6d (or 7.5p in new money) to give birth or 7/6d (37.5p) for a home delivery. The day after it was absolutely free.

The day after it was absolutely free.

In Worthing in particular we know how brilliant the NHS can be with our outstanding rated Worthing hospital.

So I would like to encourage constituents involved in the NHS to take part in these awards to recognise the best amongst our NHS staff and send me nominations for their champions.

There are ten categories from mental health to primary care and a lifetime achievement award.

Nominations close on March 23 and those shortlisted by the judges will be invited to an awards ceremony in Parliament on July 4.

Work on my Private Member’s Bill continues and the measures to recognise stillbirths before the current 24-week threshold and to give powers to coroners to investigate stillbirths were given a boost with the support of Coronation Street actress and singer Kym Marsh, whose own painful experiences led her to become an ambassador for the Saying Goodbye charity.

Kym, along with the founders of Saying Goodbye, came to Westminster for a meeting with me and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to thrash out details for how we could bring about these changes with a renewed sense of urgency.

If you would like to get in touch with me, please write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or email me at [email protected]


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