Celebrating the 72nd birthday of the NHS

On Sunday, the NHS will turn 72, but it’s not the only birthday being celebrated. Roger, Health Records Facilitator at Scunthorpe hospital shares the special birthday so will also be turning 72.

Photograph of Roger. JPEG

Roger Iredale

Roger Iredale from Broughton, said; “I was born at home on a farm in the Lake District on 5 July 1948. I left home at the age of 15 to join the army and worked originally as a telegraphist before changing to administration. I was in the army for 39 years and made Warrant Officer Class 1 before retiring in July 2003. One month later I started working at my local hospital in the health records department. I started the job to keep me busy and active, but seventeen years later I’m still working two nights a week. I’ve got no plans for retirement yet, I’m happy to keep working.”

At Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole, as well as some community services, there are many staff of a similar age. There are currently more than 25 staff and 121 volunteers aged 72-years old and over. The oldest volunteer is 91-years-old.

Over the last few months, healthcare professionals have been working around the clock to tackle Coronavirus – caring for hundreds of patients with COVID-19 who needed specialist hospital treatment and treating countless others. More than 230 patients who had tested positive for Coronavirus have been safely discharged from local hospitals and many have been cared for in their own homes.

Roger added: “Working through the pandemic has been eye opening. I’ve been impressed with the lengths the NHS has gone to to protect both staff and patients. I’ve been quite lucky as all my life the NHS has been there if I needed it. In the army I was looked after by the army medical service, but since leaving I’ve needed to stay in hospital a couple of times and the care has been excellent. The NHS proved its worth well before Coronavirus, but has proved its worth over and over during the pandemic.”

On Saturday 4 July, the day before the birthday, there will be a national moment of remembrance and reflection for all the lives lost during the pandemic. It’s a chance for the nation to come together and pay their respects. People are being asked to place a light in their window or on their doorstep. On Sunday 5 July people are asked to come together at 5pm to applaud the commitment, courage and sacrifice shown by so many.

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