This summer, staff at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) will celebrate the 20th birthday of when the Trust was formed on 1 April 1998 from the merger of Lancaster Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Westmorland Hospitals NHS Trust and Furness Hospital NHS Trust.
Festivities for the milestone also ties into the 70th anniversary celebrations of the NHS on 5 July 2018.
Special vintage tea parties for all UHMBT staff including our new community staff who have just transferred over, Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust (CPFT) staff and volunteers will be held on Thursday 5 July at Westmorland Bite, Westmorland General Hospital (WGH), 1.30pm-3pm, Skylight Restaurant, Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI), 2pm-3pm and Lonsdale Grill, Furness General Hospital (FGH), 1.30pm-3pm to allow the Trust to say thank you to them for all their continued hard work and commitment.
To try to involve the next generation of potential health and care staff, the invitations to the events have been created by young people on the Trust’s Children’s Wards. Following an NHS70 drawing competition last month, the drawings of the winners and runners up have been used as the invitation to the tea parties.
The Trust has lots planned to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its formation and NHS70, including:
- A small exhibition of artefacts and memorabilia from Lancaster Medical Museum Group will be on display from 8.30am -1pm in Seminar Room 6, at the Education Centre, RLI, on Wednesday 27 June 2018
- A Brilliant Bay Day will take place at the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal, on Wednesday 5 July 2018. Staff will showcase the improvement schemes that they have led to improve the experience of patients and their colleagues
- The UHMBT nursing team will be visiting ward staff with special NHS70 cupcakes to say thank you on Thursday 12 July, at the RLI, Monday 30 July, at FGH and Wednesday 1 August, at WGH
- A vintage edition of the Trust’s staff newsletter – Weekly News – will be produced on Tuesday 3 July 2018, full of stories, memories, photos and events. The edition will be promoted as a keepsake for staff
The Trust is also celebrating its staff and volunteers – past and present – by promoting memories and stories. Anyone wishing to share their story can contact the Corporate Communications team on [email protected] or 01539 716675.
The Trust and its hospitals are steeped in fascinating history. Some key facts include:
- At the beginning of 2006, the Trust obtained University Hospital status as part of the introduction of a medical school and central education centre to Cumbria and Lancashire. The Trust obtained Foundation status on 1 October 2010
- UHMBT has around 6,000 staff, recently seeing the transfer of staff working for community services in south Cumbria to the Trust. Community colleagues working in community services in north Lancashire will join the Trust later this year
- On 12 July 1893, Mr James Williamson, the owner of the Lune Mills linoleum and table cloth manufacturing company on St George’s Quay – later Lord Ashton – laid the foundation stone of the new RLI (Medical Unit 1). Three years after the stone was laid, the building was completed. On 24 March 1886, King George V and Queen Mary were invited to perform the official opening ceremony
- The site’s Bromley Ward in Medical Unit 2 was opened in 1940, and during World War II, cellar operating theatres were introduced, followed by the Maternity Unit which was opened in 1976, with a medical unit for the elderly (now Medical Unit 2) opening in 1984
- The £24m WGH opened its doors to patients in 1991, with many staff transferring over from the old Westmorland County and Kendal Green hospitals and Meathop Hospital near Grange-Over-Sands
- The ante-natal clinic at the original Helme Chase Maternity Hospital in Kendal (before WGH) was opened in 1966 by Ald. T. Hourigan, Chairman of the Manchester Regional Hospital Board
- FGH was built over two phases between 1984 and 1989. The site saw its new £12 million South Lakes Birth Centre officially open in February 2018
- The Elective Orthopaedic Unit at FGH was officially opened on 16 March 2008 to introduce the Enhanced Recovery Programme dedicated to providing a high quality experience for patients – requiring hip or knee joint replacement. In 2016/2017 alone, the unit at FGH cared for 370 patients
- CPFT provides a number of inpatient and community services at WGH and FGH including mental health services, support for dementia as well as children’s therapy services. Specialist and Special Care Dental Services and diabetes services are also available.
Sue Smith, Executive Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive, UHMBT, said: “It is fantastic to be celebrating 20 years of the formation of our Trust and 70 years of the NHS in the same year. We have a lot to be proud of – both as an organisation and the NHS as a whole.
“NHS staff, volunteers and Governors across our Trust and the entire country are some of the most dedicated and caring people known to man. As a nation, we are extremely lucky to have them there 24 hours a day, seven days a week to care for us and our loved ones at what can be the happiest of times, the saddest of times, and the most vulnerable moments of our lives.
“We can’t let these two occasion pass without celebrating and there are lots of events happening around the Trust to say thank you to our staff, Governors and volunteers. This is our opportunity to give back and say a huge thank you so we hope as many people as possible get involved with the festivities.”