More than 100 former and current Poole Hospital staff and volunteers helped mark the NHS’ 70th birthday on Thursday.
Events began with a lecture on the hospital’s NHS history from the hospital’s honorary archivist and former principal librarian, John Gill, and public governor Sandra Yeoman, followed by the unveiling of a specially commissioned artwork featuring 70 staff and volunteers.
Many of those featured in the montage attended the event, which was followed by cream tea, kindly provided by Tesco in Tower Park.
A new film showcasing several of the hospital’s wards, made by local production company Media Can and featuring music performed by the New Bourne Choir, was also played to attendees.
Mayor of Poole, cllr Sean Gabriel, cllr Karen Rampton, leader of Borough of Poole, Jane Newell, chair of the council’s overview and scrutiny health committee, and Dame Yvonne Moores, former chief nurse for England and former non-executive director at the hospital, were guests of honour.
Hospital chairman Steve Erskine said the day was a great opportunity to celebrate what the NHS has achieved.
“Today is an opportunity to really celebrate all that is great about the NHS and Poole Hospital,” he said.
“The hospital and the NHS rightly hold an important place in the public’s hearts, and the staff and volunteers make it what it is.
“Poole Hospital has a long and distinguished history, and I am delighted that the 70th birthday of the NHS provides us with a chance to reflect on all that has been achieved, both here and elsewhere, and to look forward to a bright future for patients, staff and the wider community.
“I’m so pleased that we are able to share our celebrations with colleagues and representatives from our partner organisations.
Mayor of Poole, cllr Sean Gabriel, has a personal reason for celebrating the NHS’ birthday, as he explained.
“My mother had pancreatic cancer and treatment from Poole Hospital, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals and Southampton Hospital saved her life,” the mayor said.
“Everyone has been saying the same thing - ‘we thought the NHS was here all the time’ - they’re surprised that it’s only 70 years old and that it’s still relatively young.
“Watching the history presentation, I was amazed how much things have moved on in such a short space of time.
“Poole Hospital continues to be hugely important for the town and its staff, as well as its many volunteers, are all fantastic and help keep us safe.”