Events to mark health service’s 75th birthday

Date published: 03 July 2023

A series of events and initiatives is taking place this week to mark the 75th birthday of the National Health Service and its sister organisation in Northern Ireland, the HSC.

NHS 75 Image

The birthday falls on Wednesday July 5.  That evening, some of Northern Ireland’s most iconic buildings, including Stormont’s Parliament Buildings and Belfast City Hall, will light up blue.

Also on July 5, the Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care is hosting a celebration event in Parliament Buildings, Stormont. Representatives from across health and social care together with local arts organisations will be joined by six-year-old guest of honour, Dáithí Mac Gabhann, the organ donation campaigner who inspired a change in the law.

On display at the Stormont event will be the George Cross Medal, which was presented to the HSC last summer by Her Majesty the Queen a short period before her death.

This Saturday, thousands of people are expected to ‘parkrun for the NHS’ at parkrun and junior parkrun events across Northern Ireland

‘Parkrun for the NHS’ is an opportunity for parkruns and their local communities to acknowledge the huge contribution that the health service makes and celebrate all the staff and volunteers, past and present. Those taking part – running, jogging, walking, or volunteering – are welcome to come along dressed up in NHS blue or in fancy dress.

Department of Health Permanent Secretary Peter May has written to staff across health and social care, thanking them for their work, expertise and commitment.

In his letter, Mr May says: “While I am very aware of the severe pressures you have been working under for a sustained period, I also see time and time again examples of the great care, expertise and innovation that happen on a daily basis throughout Northern Ireland.”

He also states: “As we look ahead to the next 75 years, the challenge is a big one. I am convinced that all of the problems facing health and social care services are fixable.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Permanent Secretary’s letter to staff can be read on the Department of Health website.
  2. The George Cross Medal presented to NI’s HSC system is available for the public to view at the Ulster Museum in Belfast, after being officially handed over to National Museums NI by the Department of Health.
  3. For more information on NHS 75 events, visit the Department of Health website.
  4. To find your nearest Parkrun location, visit Parkrun’s website 
  5. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email
  6. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt.
  7. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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