Six Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust staff, with a total of 231 years NHS long service between them, have been selected to attend two prestigious national
celebrations – at Westminster Abbey and York Minster – to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS.

The celebrations, which will take place on the NHS’s birthday on the 5 July, will pay tribute to NHS staff and patients who have contributed to the health service over the last 70 years.

York-bound are;

  • Avril Archibold, Diana Childrens community Service Operational Lead
    Nurse, with 45 years’ NHS service. She started the first ever respite service
    for children with life-limiting conditions 22 years ago at the Trust, before the
    team was merged with Diana community children’s nursing service.
  • Catriona Walker, Consultant Adult Psychotherapist, with 36 years’ NHS
    service. She begun her NHS career in 1982 at Leicestershire Health Authority
    as an occupational therapist. She qualified as a psychotherapist in 1994.
  •  Lynne Hartwell, a Research bank nurse and retired health visitor, with 48
    years’ NHS service and shares her 70th birthday with the NHS. She started as
    a general nurse in 1967, and then moved into health visiting supporting
    travelling families before she retired and returned as a bank nurse.
    Westminster-bound will be;
  • Susan Deakin, moving and handling advisor and former acute nurse, with 35
    years NHS service. She spent 22 years in acute nursing at LRI, before moving
    to LPT 13 years ago to advise nurses on health and safety. Sue retires later
    this year.
  • Lucy Akam, community hospital staff nurse, who has worked as an NHS
    nurse for 32 years. She currently works as a community nurse based out of
    Loughborough hospital.
  •  Susan Lyons, speech and language therapy clinical lead in learning disability
    services with 35 years’ NHS service. She has worked as a speech and
    language therapist in the NHS since 1983 and will be retiring in the autumn.

In York, performances will be given by the NHS Greenwich and Lewisham choir who will singing their latest single, With a Little Help from My Friends; and Britain’s Got Talent finalists, the B-Positive Choir.

Around 3,000 NHS staff from across the country are expected to attend the national ceremonies alongside representatives of charities, councils, and other key partners who work with the NHS.

Celebrations for the NHS milestone birthday are taking place up and down the country this week, recognising the achievements of the NHS over the last seven
decades. Staff celebrations will be shining a light on the staff who are there to support and care for patients every day. LPT celebrations include

  • tea parties in hospitals and community bases across Leicester, Leicestershire
    and Rutland, including fundraising for our charity Raising Health.
  • family health roadshows in local Asda stores, parks and childrens centres,
  • a mental health history and art exhibition with tea party at Bradgate Unit (5
  •  an NHS tea party for the public at Devonshire Place (5 July), and
  •  a joint family fun day with Leicester University (Saturday 7 July)

Sir Malcolm Grant, NHS England chairman, said: “The NHS’s 1.5m staff work hard every day to keep the people of this country well and they deserve to be
celebrated. We want to say a huge thank you for all the hard work and extra effort our staff have contributed over the last 70 years – without you we wouldn’t be the world class service we are today.”

Susan Deakin, one of the LPT attendees, said: “The last 35 years in the NHS has offered me personally opportunities that I would have never imagined when I started my nursing career all those years ago. However most importantly the NHS has not only given me a rewarding career but it has looked after my family through difficult and challenging times and has always been there when we needed it which is why it will be lovely to attend this day”.

Dr Peter Miller, chief executive of LPT, said: ““I am hugely proud of the services that we provide at LPT and in the wider NHS. Many of you have given your working lives to supporting others, creating the reputation that the NHS has for care and compassion when we need it most. Thanks to you all for what you do each and every day. Happy birthday NHS!”

For more information about the birthday celebrations, including local events, visit: