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NHS celebrates 73rd Birthday

The NHS marks its 73rd Birthday today, 5 July, after a year like no other. It has been an extremely challenging year for the NHS and the country as a whole, but also a year of hope.

As part of the birthday celebrations, there will be a special service of commemoration and thanksgiving to be held at St Paul’s Cathedral today, at which NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be represented by Howard Martin (Pictured), Director of Population Health Management and Health Inequalities. Howard

Howard was nominated to attend this prestigious occasion as a result of his work and leadership in addressing health inequalities during the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Through the past six months, Howard has been working closely with system partners to ensure that all communities across Norfolk and Waveney have been able access the coronavirus vaccine.

This work has included initiatives such as the vaccine bus, which has travelled to specific locations, including places of worship, factories, homeless hostels and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller sites, that benefit from convenient, on-site access to vaccinations.

Howard Martin said: “A huge amount of work has been undertaken locally to make sure everyone can have access to the Covid vaccine. We’ve worked with our partners in public health, Local Authorities, businesses and community groups, to try and reach those who might otherwise have found it difficult to get to vaccine appointments.

“Our high vaccination rates locally are testament to the work of our teams across the system and also to the many volunteers to have given their time to support this work”

Howard is just one of the many NHS staff from across all disciplines who has shown extraordinary skill and commitment in their response to Covid-19.

Also attending the service at St Paul’s is volunteer Terry Davies. Terry has been supporting the vaccination programme at Fakenham Medical Practice where is wife is a nurse manager. He has given up hundreds of hours of time to support patients with the Covid-19 vaccination appointments, acting as a car park marshal. It is estimated Terry has walked more than 420 miles by escorting people back to their cars. He has been doing all of this alongside his day job as a landscape gardener, now planning his work around the volunteering shifts, and still plans to be a volunteer long into the future.   

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic our NHS staff in Norfolk and Waveney have cared for many seriously ill Covid patients requiring hospital treatment, along with many others besides.

At the same time we have played our part in rolling out the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme, the biggest in health service history, fastest in Europe and most precise in the world.

In Norfolk and Waveney we have delivered more than 1.25 million doses of Covid vaccine, with 88% of our adult population having received their first dose, and 69% having also received their second dose.

As the last year has shown, a career in the NHS can be challenging but it is also hugely rewarding, offering around 350 different careers.

Anna Morgan MBE, Director of Workforce at NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG said: “Our staff have really stepped up to the mark this year, proving that dedication and vocation are a winning formula. Within the NHS we have many varied jobs and professions, so I’d encourage anyone who might be thinking about a career in health to visit either our local We Care Together workforce website or to check out NHS Careers.”

The NHS could not have achieved so much in the past year without the skill and dedication of our people, along with the support of thousands of returners, volunteers, other keyworkers and, of course, the public who played their part by following the social distancing rules.

So we want to use our 73rd birthday as an opportunity to Say a Big Thank You to everyone. Without you and your support, we could never have achieved what we have over the past year.


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