On 5th July, we mark the 72nd Anniversary of the NHS.
I want to thank our incredible local health and social care staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to support the health and wellbeing of local residents.
I echo the words of Sir Simon Stevens that “From those who have worked tirelessly to keep hospitals clean, to medical students coming forward, to 111 call handlers and IT professionals working to keep services running, the NHS has mobilised to tackle this unprecedented global pandemic.
Our NHS staff – our doctors, nurses, ambulance staff, scientists, carers, volunteers and so many more – have put themselves on the front line.
Hundreds have lost their lives or suffered from COVID and many continue to put themselves at risk.
We owe every one of them, and we will never forget.
And this year I want to thank also organisations like Sewaday and local foodbanks that have delivered food and resources to help our NHS staff, our hotels that gave them a place to stay if needed, and our local authority public health team.
It was on 5 July 1948, that the then Labour Health Secretary, Aneurin Bevan, launched the National Health Service. He drove through the NHS in the aftermath of war and national bankruptcy. His vision provided us with universal healthcare on the basis of need, and free at the point of use.
Since then the NHS has delivered huge medical advances and has stood tall as perhaps our proudest achievement over these last few months.
I want to make mention also of West Middlesex Hospital, one of 100 hospitals built or rebuilt under Labour.
West Middlesex is where my father was treated for diabetes, and was diagnosed with cancer. It’s where my brother was born, and where my mum was treated for her stroke.
All in our local hospitals have worked to serve our community through this difficult time, and often with great sacrifice.
So from all of us, to all who make up our the NHS– our hospitals, mental health services, GPs, dentists and community care – to all who work day and night to save our lives and keep us well, we thank you.