The National Health Service turned seventy last week. Loughborough joined in with the rest of the country in celebrating the birthday of one of our most cherished institutions.
Baroness Shami Chakrabarti was welcomed to Unity House on Fennel Street on Saturday 7th July for an NHS tea party. Local NHS staff were invited to join the party. Those present signed and left messages in a giant NHS birthday card.
Attendees were treated to tea, cake and bunting. Local poet Liz Gray recited her poem specifically focussed on how bad healthcare was before the creation of the NHS and the challenges posed to the NHS by underfunding and privatisation. There were also words from one of the best-known members of the House of Lords, Baroness Chakrabarti, and Stuart Brady, Labour’s candidate for Loughborough at the next general election.
Stuart Brady said: “The NHS is such an essential institution for all of us from cradle to grave. It is important that we mark important dates like this. It is also a time for reflection on where we would be without the NHS and all the work that is needed to protect if for future generations. That is particularly true here in Leicestershire with the well-known pressures on the LRI, Loughborough Hospital, our ambulance service, and GP practices.”
Stuart continued: “It is an honour to have a senior member of the Shadow Cabinet here in Loughborough to mark the occasion. Shami Chakrabarti’s typically eloquent words put into perspective how important the NHS is to us all, and what an important achievement it was for a Labour government all those years ago. We all owe a massive debt of gratitude to all those working in our NHS, often under unacceptable pressures. So, thank you to all staff in our NHS locally.”
Baroness Chakrabarti told the tea party: “The NHS is a distinctly Labour achievement. The Conservatives repeatedly voted against the legislation that created the NHS. They have continued to show through their actions a suspicion of the values that it represents.”