An extraordinary year for the NHS
05 July 2021
- The NHS turns 73 today.
- Some NHS staff and patients will gather at St Paul's Cathedral in London for a service of commemoration and thanksgiving.
- NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens will deliver an address recognising the dedication and commitment of all those who have played their part in combating coronavirus across the NHS, care sector and beyond.
Commenting on the NHS' 73rd birthday, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
"This year has been extraordinary, with health and care staff dealing with a huge array of challenges, including the pressures of the pandemic.
"Staff have looked after 400,000 patients who were seriously ill with COVID-19, while also continuing to deliver urgent non COVID care, and now are tackling the care backlog. Pressures are being addressed across the board – including in mental health, community and ambulance services.
"We should also recognise how trusts have supported and worked with partners in local systems during the past year, for example by sharing personal protective equipment (PPE), helping care homes establish effective infection control, and by redeploying staff to where they were needed most.
"Trusts have also been hugely innovative, working in new ways and using digital to improve care and outcomes for patients, while reducing bureaucracy.
"The health service has also driven the hugely successful vaccination programme, which has now delivered both doses of the COVID-19 jab to half the UK population in a matter of months.
"The pandemic is not over. We should recognise just how much has been achieved over the past year and also how much there is still to do over the coming year which will be a critical one for the NHS with a new health and care secretary and a comprehensive spending review."