Don’t miss the party! Help us celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday

Health and care organisations in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are encouraging people across the area to join in the celebrations as the NHS turns 70 on 5 July.

Julia Ross, Chief Executive of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and one of the Healthier Together leaders, said: “The NHS has come a long way since its launch in 1948. Medical advances and improvements to health have been phenomenal in that time, which is credit to our hard-working and passionate staff.

“The birthday celebrations are a perfect time to recognise how lucky we are as a nation to have a health service that provides high-quality support and treatment which is free at the point of access.

“Looking ahead, we need to consider how we all work together to ensure the future of our NHS and other public services for generations to come. That’s why the work of Healthier Together – our local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership is so vitally important.”

To mark this special occasion, a number of local activities are taking place, including:

– Southmead Hospital Charity will be hosting a “Big 7Tea” tea party on Thursday 5 July in the Brunel building. Staff, patients and visitors are invited to join for a cuppa and cake for a suggested donation between 10am and 2pm. With live piano music covering the seven decades, people will be encouraged to chat about their memories and take part in craft activities.

– Over the past month, North Bristol NHS Trust has been sharing daily patient and staff stories and facts of their experiences through the decades, such as the first ever IT worker who started in the 1980s, pioneering brain research using robots in the 1940s, and multiple generations of families working in different roles.

– Southmead Hospital will be hosting a memorabilia display in its Brunel building between 2 and 6 July showcasing historical photos, uniforms and kit from Southmead and Frenchay hospitals.

– Bristol University are going to light up the Wills Memorial Building on 5 July with blue light as part of the #LightUpBlue social media campaign.

NHS 70 #LightUpBlue

– Hospitals in Bristol are in the final week of a #WhyILoveTheNHS social media campaign. They are encouraging members of the public and staff to share the reasons why they love the NHS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

– Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group has created an NHS 70 video, which will be shown for the first time at their AGM on 3 July. Anyone can sign up for tickets to the AGM through Eventbrite.

– There is still time for children to enter the BNSSG-wide art competition, which closes on 5 July.

– Bristol Archives will be holding a small display (running until September) featuring documents and images exploring the development of medical care in the city, from early institutions funded by donations and philanthropy, to the transfer of services to the National Health Service in the 1940s.

NHS70 - a photo from the Bristol Archives collection
A nurse administers a polio vaccine at Bristol’s Central Health Clinic in the 1950s (Bristol Archives 40826/PUB/80)

– Sirona care & health holds an annual awards ceremony to recognise outstanding work and achievements of its staff. This year it will feature two categories to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS. The awards will be launched on 5 July and anyone can make a nomination:

– University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust is planning tea parties for staff and volunteers, a film showing and giving away free books to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS. Staff, patients and visitors will have the opportunity to tell us why they love the NHS on comment boards which will be popping up around the Trust next week. You can keep up to date with UH Bristol’s NHS70 activities via the following link:

There are lots of ways to wish the NHS a happy birthday and show appreciation for one of the nation’s most loved institutions. From giving blood, to making an online pledge to use NHS services wisely – take a look at for other ideas and inspiration.