75 years of the NHS in Barnsley and Rotherham

Party hats at the ready – we’re celebrating 75 years of the NHS!

The National Health Service (NHS) was formed on 5th July 1948. It was the first universal healthcare system of its kind – available to all and free at the point of delivery. As celebrations begin for the 75th anniversary, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the achievements, challenges, and lasting impact it has had on the lives of so many.

Not only is the NHS a source of immense pride for the people of Britain, it has been at the forefront of ground-breaking healthcare developments over the years. Through research, investment in new technologies, and the development of life-saving drugs, the NHS continues to develop new ways to deliver patient care.

But it’s certainly faced challenges over the years, not least the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 is a year none of us are ever likely to forget, and those on the frontline of the response certainly won’t. But throughout the pandemic, and the ongoing recovery, NHS staff have demonstrated resilience and unwavering commitment.    

In Rotherham, 2023 is a special year as it also marks 45 years of Rotherham Hospital. Many Rotherham residents will remember the hospital opening its doors in March 1978. Or when it got the royal seal of approval from HRH the Duchess of Kent at the official opening in the December of that year.

HRH the Duchess of Kent officially opening Rotherham Hospital in 1978

Since then, the hospital has grown and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust now incorporates multiple sites, such as BreathingSpace and the Rotherham Community Health Centre, delivering care to the people of Rotherham throughout the community and in their own homes.

The Trust have lots of celebrations planned, including burying a time capsule, hosting tea parties for patients, a ‘Wear it Blue’ day to raise money for Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity, and a family fun day at Hooton Lodge. Keep an eye on their social media channels for a chance to see a very special video commemorating the big day too.

Barnsley Hospital’s events for the 75th anniversary include a celebratory tea at Barnsley College, bringing together past and current inspirational staff and volunteers.

The hospital charity is also holding its first fundraising event for children – a Grand Ball in partnership with The CopyCat Party Company on 23rd July. You can support by texting NHS to 70470 to donate £1.

Among Barnsley Hospital’s proudest achievements in recent years is the opening of its new £7.3m Intensive Care Unit and the new Community Diagnostic Centre (CDC) in The Glass Works.

Barnsley’s Community Diagnostic Centre and ICU nurse Laura Limb in Barnsley Hospital’s new Intensive Care Unit

Whether they helped you deliver your baby, have patched you up after a fall, held your hand as you received difficult news, or kept you smiling during tough times and tough treatments, the NHS has undoubtedly touched us all.

The doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, receptionists, administrators, midwives, domestics, porters, support workers and many, many more roles make up a workforce of incredibly dedicated staff. And there are endless career opportunities in the NHS. In fact, if you’re looking for a career change, the NHS probably has a role for you!

So, how are you going to celebrate this momentous milestone? Perhaps you could sign up to give blood? Or have the conversation with your friends and family about organ donation? You could, of course, donate to your local NHS charity – Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity and Barnsley Hospital Charity do great work to fund those extra special touches.

Whatever you decide to do, we hope you join us in saying a very big “Happy 75th birthday, NHS!”