Dancers perform at Berwick Infirmary

The 70th birthday of the NHS has been toasted with a cuppa at a series of 1940s-themed tea dances at hospitals across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Thursday, 12th July 2018, 08:57 am
The Berwick dance Academy which performed at the tea dance held at Berwick Infirmary as part of the NHS 70th anniversary celebrations.

Berwick Dance Academy performed for patients, staff and invited guests at Berwick Infirmary and other Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust hospitals.

The tea dances were part of events to mark the special occasion and pay tribute to staff and patients who had contributed to the health service since its inception.

The celebrations also saw birthday cakes for patients, flags, bunting and balloons for wards, a service of thanksgiving at Hexham Abbey and a private dedication at St Aidan’s Church, Thockrington, where Lord Beveridge, the founder of the NHS and a former Berwick MP, is buried.

Brenda Longstaff, head of charity development and volunteering at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Holding a tea party is such a quintessentially British thing to do and what better way to celebrate 70 years of the NHS than with a cuppa.

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“Our tea parties have been a huge success and been greatly enjoyed by all – particularly by our patients who have benefitted from being part of our celebrations and from spending time away from the ward environment.”

She added: “I’d like to thank the seven local dance groups for the many hours they have practised to be able to do these memorable performances. All of the dancers – some as young as two years old – were truly excellent and put on a great show.”

“Holding events like these make such a difference to our patients and we’re delighted to have been able to incorporate them into our celebrations to mark this special milestone.”

Staff at Northumbria Healthcare wore blue on July 5 to mark the birthday and representatives joined around 3,000 NHS employees from across the country at national services at Westminster Abbey and York Minster.