NHS70

Celebrating 70 years of the NHS

Community hospitals are a cornerstone of the NHS. They provide that friendly care in your local area, whether you’ve sprained your ankle, are recovering from a major operation or need on-going therapy support. Dorset HealthCare currently runs 12 community hospitals across the county. As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, we look at the story of the Victoria Hospital in Wimborne, which began long before 1948….

The countdown is on!

Help us celebrate

Help us celebrate 70 years of the NHS!

On Thursday, 5 July, it will be 70 years since the foundation of the NHS – and we want you to help us celebrate.

Every one of us has been touched by NHS services in one way or other. This year’s anniversary offers a great opportunity to celebrate past achievements, recognise the support and care our staff continue to provide on a daily basis, and look forward to future developments. Over the coming months, this page will showcase a selection of stories, photographs and videos which tell the story of Dorset HealthCare, and publicise any NHS birthday celebrations in the local area.

You can help us by sending in any old photographs or sharing your memories of our services, whether as a patient, carer, volunteer or staff member. Perhaps you have close links with one of our community hospitals? Or fond memories of receiving treatment from our school nursing service? Maybe our mental health services got you through a difficult period, or you recall seeing a VIP open one of our facilities. If you can remember what health care was like before the launch of the NHS, we’d also love to hear from you. Just email your story (no more than 250 words) and/or photographs to dhc.communications.team@nhs.net. And if you are planning any parties to mark the occasion or fundraising events in support of one or our ‘Friends’ groups, let us know and we will publicise them here.

Look out for regular updates on our Twitter page. You can also find out more about the national NHS birthday celebrations on a special NHS England website, and read about activities planned by The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital, Poole Hospital and Dorset County Hospital on their websites.

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Staff Stories


Dorset HealthCare employs staff in scores of different roles at sites across the county. To mark the 70 th birthday of the NHS this year, we are showcasing some of the fantastic people who work for us and provide quality care day in, day out, to local people.


Precious Whild, Guernsey Ward Sister at Alderney Hospital in Poole

Precious joined Dorset HealthCare in 2004, working as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) on the Jersey Ward at Alderney Hospital. In the years since, her hard work, determination and drive to deliver quality patient care has seen her rise to the role of Senior Sister.

“I moved from Zimbabwe to the UK in 2002 to find work to support my four children and fund their schooling back home. I arrived educated to an A-Level equivalent, and initially worked nights and long days in a nursing home.

“After starting at Alderney, I studied at Poole College on an Access to Nursing course on my days off and later completed a BSC Hons in nursing course, graduating with first class honours. I then moved to Guernsey Ward to work as a Sister, but also worked shifts at Poole Hospital – including A&E – to broaden my skills and experience.

“Over time I’ve been able to suggest or contribute to a number of changes which have empowered staff and provide a better experience for patients and their relatives. One of my ideas about attracting non-EU nurses has resulted in a development programme for staff who hold qualifications from outside the EU – an achievement I’m particularly proud of.

“I’ve been well supported by my managers and colleagues, and last year was appointed to the role of Senior Sister – the most pivotal career moment of my life. I cried tears of joy, and my team was delighted.

“I love my job because of the positive impact I can have on patients. On a personal note, I have supported my children through their schooling and some members of my family now live in the UK. There has also been an extension to my family with grandchildren arriving. I’m hoping they will work for the NHS!

Precious’s work in helping people end their lives with dignity was highlighted at last year’s national End of Life Conference. You can watch part of her speech below.

Precious Story from Chris Mark Smith on Vimeo.

Show your support

The NHS Big 7Tea

The NHS has touched us all and NHS Big 7Tea is a chance to celebrate and say thank you.

Across the UK people are organising tea parties and many are choosing an NHS charity to support.

You might want to invite your friends to a street party, brew up for your family, crack open the staff room tea bags, or commandeer the local village hall. You could raise money for the NHS charity helping your local hospital, or another one that is close to your heart.

Register for a pack at http://www.nhsbig7tea.co.uk/

Get involved in research projects

Research has built the NHS we have today. Getting involved in healthcare research could help shape the NHS for the future, discovering life-saving treatments, uncovering the secrets behind diseases, and developing the answers to the problems causing ill health today.

As the NHS turns 70, you can help develop it for the future by getting involved in research. Every year, more than half a million people take part in health research. Patients and members of the public also help design research studies and advise what our priorities for future research should be.

Find out more at https://www.nhs70.nhs.uk/get-involved/support-the-...

Pledge to use NHS services wisely

There are things that we can all do for ourselves and for one another to help the NHS work effectively, and to make sure resources are used responsibly.

Did you know that?

  • More than 12 million GP appointments are missed every year, costing in excess of £500 million
  • Almost 8 million hospital appointments are missed every year, costing nearly £1 billion
  • More than 9 million people were sent home from A&E in 2016/17 with just advice which they could have got from a pharmacist or by calling 111.

You can pledge to use NHS services responsibly by making a commitment and sharing it on Facebook and Twitter

Find out more at https://www.nhs70.nhs.uk/get-involved/support-the-...

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