Special delivery to Nottingham's hospitals on NHS 75th birthday

Charity stands with the giant NHS 75th birthday card by the hand sculpture at QMC

Posted on: 05 Jul 2023

Two giant, six-foot birthday cards have been presented to Nottingham’s hospitals, to celebrate the NHS’s 75th anniversary.

Staff and patients across Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust were visited by the giant cards on Wednesday 5 July 2023, which were created and taken around the hospital sites by Nottingham Hospitals Charity to mark the occasion. 

The cards, which are six-foot high, four-foot wide and weigh 10kg, were taken around City Hospital, Queen’s Medical Centre, Ropewalk House and Nottingham Children’s Hospital.

In all areas of the hospitals, patients and visitors were able to sign the cards, share a special memory of the NHS, and wish it well for the next 75 years. 

Barclay Thoracic Ward pose with the giant card

Staff on Barclay Thoracic ward at City Hospital

Nottingham Hospitals Charity is the hospital charity for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, having raised over £56million over the last 17 years for enhancements to care across Nottingham’s NHS hospitals.

Louise Knight, Head of Fundraising at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “These birthday cards may be giant, but they are just a small gesture of thanks to our incredible NHS staff, to make them smile on this special day.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity to share our thanks with our local NHS hospitals, and we’d like to invite everyone across Nottinghamshire to join the celebrations and raise money for Nottingham’s hospitals – whether by running 75 miles, baking 75 cakes or donating £75.

“From all of us at Nottingham Hospitals Charity, thank you to the hardworking staff at Nottingham’s NHS hospitals, for all you have done over the past 75 years – and all you continue to do, every single day.”

Many of the staff signing a card have worked for the NHS for several years, if not decades. Debbie Clay, Hayward House Palliative Care Therapy Services Lead at the City Hospital, said: “I have worked as a nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals for 19 years and have loved every minute. The NHS has served my family and friends over many of their lifetimes and it’s always been there for them when they needed it.

“It’s not always been easy, but the highs and the lows are what builds our teams, our services and our resilience. It’s an absolute privilege to serve the local community where I grew up and I’m very proud to be a part of Team NUH.”

Debbie Clay and the rest of the Hayward House team signed the NHS 75th card

Debbie Clay and the Hayward House team

Also signing the card was 94-year-old Mavis Thorneloe, who is a patient at Hayward House palliative care centre.

She said: “I was eight years old when my mother died in childbirth because there was no health service and we couldn’t afford a doctor. People lived in poverty and had to struggle to look after themselves.

“When the NHS was formed, we couldn’t believe it was happening. It felt like a miracle. People were singing and dancing in the streets because they knew at last they could go to a doctor without having to struggle for money.”

Mavis stands and signs the giant NHS 75th birthday card

Mavis Thorneloe at Hayward House

One of the giant birthday cards will be available to view at NUH Trust’s Annual Public Meeting
on Monday 10 July. The card will then travel to the Nottingham Hospitals Charity Hub at Queen’s Medical Centre near the B Floor main reception, where it will be on display for two weeks for all staff, patients and visitors to see.

For staff and patients who missed the card or were working from home on Wednesday, an online dedication page has been set up for people to leave a digital message.

Visit our online dedication page

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