CCG chairman thanks staff on NHS 73rd birthday


A Bolton health boss has thanked staff, volunteers and others on the 73rd birthday of the NHS.

Dr Niruban Ratnarajah, chairman of Bolton NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said that they had worked “tirelessly” during the last 16 months to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NHS was founded on July 5th, 1948 to provide good, free healthcare to all, regardless of wealth.

Teenager Sylvia Beckingham was the first person to be treated by the NHS when she was admitted to a Manchester hospital with a liver condition.

The coronavirus pandemic means that the NHS has been through a year like no other.

Hospitals nationally have cared for around 400,000 seriously ill Covid patients, including more than 100,000 admitted in January alone, along with millions more besides. General practice has cared for patients with coronavirus who haven’t needed hospital admission while managing other long-term conditions.

At the same time the NHS has rolled out the biggest vaccination programme in the country’s history.

NHS Bolton CCG is leading on the vaccination programme in Bolton and since December, more than 190,000 people living in the borough have had their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and nearly 140,000 have had their second jab.

Dr Ratnarajah said: “It is a fantastic achievement that tens of thousands of people in Bolton have received their potentially life-saving vaccination. It has been a massive effort and I’m so proud of how Team Bolton has risen to the challenge.

“We could not have achieved this without the skill and dedication of our staff, GP practices and volunteers. The support provided by our partners at Bolton Council, the Royal Bolton Hospital, the voluntary sector, our local communities and countless others has also been invaluable. I want to thank each and every one of them – they have worked tirelessly.

“Huge thanks must also go to the public who have played their part by following social distancing guidelines and coming forward to be vaccinated when invited.

“The hard work continues. As we strive towards the easing of restrictions on July 19, we still have a major task ahead to make sure that everyone gets their first and second dose of the vaccine.

“The NHS marks its 73rd birthday after a year like no other and I also want to take this opportunity to remember all those who have lost their lives during the pandemic. My thoughts are with their families, and with the countless others who are still struggling with the long-term health and economic effects of the virus.”

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