By Leah Conway
This weekend will be marking the 72nd Anniversary of the NHS. In celebration, there will be local events happening all over the country, as well as a ‘national online rally’, which will take place on Sunday 5th July at 3.30 PM on Facebook. It will feature a range of speeches from national campaigners and supporters.
On this historical anniversary, many will reflect on the past and present of the NHS. The NHS was formed in 1948 following the aftermath of World War II. Since then, it has provided free healthcare for all.
In these past few months, the NHS and many others who work in care have been at the frontline in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have faced working in severe, difficult conditions and circumstances, and many have sacrificed their lives too.
In light of 72 years of service and sacrifices, many local and national campaigners will be celebrating the anniversary of the NHS. They want to celebrate and commend the NHS and encourage communities to support the NHS actively.
The anniversary provides an opportunity to support the NHS by demanding change and addressing the failings within the healthcare system. Failings, which have been accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Campaigners are calling for radical reform for the NHS and community and residential social care facilities and are asking for a show of public support to fund the NHS and social care provisions adequately.
Some of the campaigner’s aims are to ensure that staff start to receive the pay they deserve, to keep the NHS out of all negotiated trade deals, to tackle institutional racism within the healthcare system, end migrant charges and put the NHS into public hands.
Huddersfield’s local campaigners are Hands Off HRI. They are continuing their campaign to save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and support other health campaigners across the country.
Hands Off HRI have organised for supporters to gather outside the main entrance of the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on Sunday 5th July at noon. The event will go on for half an hour and aims to be a small, socially distanced gathering.
Hands Off HRI and their supporters will then gift 370 bars of handmade soap, with blue heart running through them, to representatives of the NHS trust.
For more information about this event, you can visit Hands Off HRI’s Facebook Group here.