All Stars Week at West Herts NHS

Community comes out in force to help NHS celebrate its 75th anniversary!

Generous support from local businesses and Raise, helped staff at West Herts NHS to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NHS in style.

Staff at Hemel Hempstead, St Albans City and Watford hospitals, and those running services at Abbots Langley, Croxley Green and Welwyn, enjoyed ‘All Stars’ – a week-long programme of cultural entertainment and food. The event, from 3 to 7 July, was designed to celebrate the diversity of the trust’s workforce and allow staff precious time to socialise with colleagues.

All Stars Week was made possible thanks to primary sponsors Smith+Nephew, and Raise, the charity that supports patients and staff at West Herts Teaching Hospitals.

Smith+Nephew staff also took the opportunity to volunteer, including handing out 75th birthday branded cookies donated by Wenzel’s, and delivering hot food and cream teas to staff on the night shift.

Jay Panchmatia from Smith+Nephew distributing cream teas to night staff at West Herts NHS

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are so important to Smith+Nephew’s culture. Our teams loved talking to staff about how they celebrate their diversity, and how NHS staff networks and Raise support the workforce. We have so much in common.”

Paul Mussert, Smith+Nephew’s Sales Director

To mark this 75th anniversary milestone, other local businesses generously offered promotions and special events to help staff celebrate, including Peabody’s, which ran two happy hours on 5 July so staff could enjoy discounted hot drinks, and Morrisons which slashed 75% off café prices for NHS staff.

Shelley Crawford, Watford Morrisons’ community champion, organised an NHS anniversary stall on 4 July and was joined by Vinnie Mansi and Victoria Parker from Anytime Fitness, Croxley Green, for a static cycle challenge, along with Julianna Araujo George, an Ascot Road PTA mum.

West Herts staff celebrating the NHS’s 75th birthday with a special lunch at Watford FC

Elsewhere, members of West Herts staff received recognition from royalty and the government. On 4 July Suraj Kumar, junior charge nurse, and Mr Vanash Patel, consultant colorectal surgeon and lead for the trust’s robotics programme, visited Downing Street for an NHS birthday reception. Vanash met prime minister Rishi Sunak, secretary of state for health and social care Steve Barclay and chief executive of NHS England Amanda Pritchard. He took the opportunity to champion a national strategy for robotic surgery in the NHS using West Herts’ robotics programme as an example of how it can be delivered.

On 5 July, consultant cardiologist and lead for the virtual hospital programme Dr Niall Keenan was invited by Watford MP Dean Russell to attend a ‘local NHS champions’ reception, also at No 10, hosted by the health secretary.

Last month, Joe Barron, deputy head of the trust’s emergency planning team, attended an NHS Charites Together reception in London, which featured a surprise appearance from the Prince and Princess of Wales.

To round off the day with a bounce, Ninja Warrior Watford opened its doors exclusively to West Herts staff and their children, having also hosted an all-day Big Tea event, raising funds for Raise.

Ninjas in training! West Herts NHS nurse education team (backrow): Elgreg, Rose, Hari, Clarie, Naeema Front: Aga and Becca

A video celebrating 75 years of the NHS in West Hertfordshire, created by Raise and West Herts colleagues, shows the long tradition of NHS charities supporting patient care and features NHS staff sharing what West Herts NHS means to them, watch the video here:

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