Carlisle Cathedral.JPGNext week on 5th July, the NHS will be 75 years old. To celebrate this landmark, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) is holding a special service at Carlisle Cathedral to pay tribute and thanks to staff past and present.

The service will begin at 7pm on Wednesday 5th July and all are welcome to join staff from NCIC, the Bishop of Carlisle and invited guests to celebrate the achievements of the NHS and to look forward to the future.

Georgia Wright, deputy chief nurse at NCIC,  has been helping to organise the service. She said: “75 years is a huge milestone so I wanted to do something special to mark the occasion. I am looking forward to welcoming staff past and present, partners and members of the public to the service on Wednesday evening.”

On the same day, there will also be a national celebration for NHS staff, volunteers and partners at Westminster Abbey. Two members of staff and a volunteer from NCIC will be attending the service in London, including Liz Klein (lead medical clinical educator) who has worked for the Trust for almost 50 years. Liz said: “I feel very honoured to have been nominated to attend the service in Westminster. I never thought for one moment when I started all those years ago that I would be part of the 75th celebrations. It’s even more poignant that it is the year that I will be retiring - and returning for a while!”

To mark the occasion, Cumberland Council is also lighting up numerous buildings and local landmarks in blue lighting.

As well as attending the Cathedral service, members of local communities are invited to host their own ‘big tea party’ to raise funds for NCIC’s charity – North Cumbria Hospitals, which provides extra support needed to care for NHS staff, patients and volunteers. To host a tea party is easy - Simply pick a date between 3rd & 9th July then register your big tea and search ‘north cumbria’ will get your own team just giving page and have access to resources and ideas to help promote and celebrate your tea party. Find out more about our charity on our website.

Looking ahead to the celebrations next week, Lyn Simpson, chief executive at NCIC, commented: “Treating over a million people a day in England, there is no doubt that the NHS touches all of our lives. As we celebrate 75 years, while we recognise that the NHS is under unprecedented pressure, we should be confident about our future. We are blessed with a passionate, talented and dedicated workforce, and as we look back and celebrate our achievements, it is our people who give me every confidence that we can look ahead to an exciting future.”