South Tyneside Council salutes work of NHS

South Tyneside Mayor Coun Ken Stephenson leads the celebration of the National Health Service's 70th anniversary
South Tyneside Mayor Coun Ken Stephenson leads the celebration of the National Health Service's 70th anniversary

Councillors in South Tyneside have placed on record their thanks to the NHS as part of a celebratory event to mark its 70th anniversary.

At an extraordinary meeting last night, councillors requested that chief executive Martin Swales write to Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and the Chair of NHS England Board to convey their support and appreciation for the highly valued institution.

South Tyneside Mayor, Coun Ken Stephenson, told the meeting: “As the NHS turns 70, it is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of one of the nation’s most loved institutions, appreciate the vital role the service plays in our lives and to recognise and thank the extraordinary NHS – the everyday heroes – who are there to guide, support and care for us, day in, day out.”

A special birthday cake was cut as part of the celebrations and councillors also agreed to work with health colleagues and partners to put in place a commemorative tribute to mark the 70th anniversary.

Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for independence and wellbeing, said: “I am proud of how the NHS has transformed the health and wellbeing of the nation and become the envy of the world.

“The NHS is always there when we need it, and at the most profound moments of our lives – the births of our children, the deaths of our loved ones and at every stage in between as we grapple with hope, fear, generosity, loneliness, compassion – all the most profound elements of the human spirit.”

She added: “In the North East we are lucky to have some of the highest-performing NHS services in the country and today is a day to voice our appreciation for the skilful and passionate way services are delivered. None of this would be possible without the skill, dedication and compassion of NHS staff, as well as the many volunteers, charities and communities that support the service. We owe you a debt of gratitude and we thank you all.”

South Shields Town Hall was bathed in blue light and the NHS flag was flown to commemorate the official 70th birthday of the NHS.