[A] special service featuring patients and frontline staff in the NHS was held at Carlisle Cathedral as part of events to mark its 70th birthday.
The service demonstrated the diversity of the NHS with a procession representing not just doctors and nurses and hospitals but out the importance of GPs, community services and the many partner organisations which enable the NHS to provide care.
Bishop James Newcome spoke of the many challenges facing the NHS as it turns 70, but spoke of its remarkable achievement as well as the high regard it is held in across the world. He described it as the embodiment of the Christian faith providing care and support for people when it is needed.
Kathryn Holliday, a nurse and commissioner who helped organise the service, said: “It was a really lovely service, the voices of patients were very powerful and it was a moment to sit and reflect on how privileged I am to be part of the NHS and what a truly remarkable organisation it is.”
Seven patient stories were recorded by BBC Radio Cumbria, with readings from NHS staff including Dr Teresa Storr a consultant from the Eden Valley Hospice and special nurses’s prayers from nurse educator Karen Dutton and a personal reflection from coronary care nurse Maggie Rothery from the West Cumberland Hospital.
The service was attended by the Lord Lieutenant Clare Hensman and the High Sheriff Simon Berry along with the mayors of Allerdale, Carlisle, Eden and South Lakeland. The Cathedral Choir sang at the service.
Julie Clayton from NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Thank you to the whole team at the Cathedral for making it such a memorable occasion and to all who took part. We had lots of comments afterwards from people who felt it really caught a sense of the high regard patients and our community hold our NHS, and the hard work of the many teams right across Cumbria and beyond who make it work. That is not just those wearing the NHS badge but organisations across the care sector, third sector and volunteers.
“It was a really moving service and I’m sure those involved will remember it for a long time.”