Celebrate the NHS turning 70 with York Central MP Rachael Maskell
Celebrate the NHS turning 70 with York Central MP Rachael Maskell

Rachael Maskell MP, will be hosting a unique event to mark the 70th Birthday of the NHS.  The event, which is taking place at York’s Principal Hotel, at 7:30 pm on Thursday, 12 July will also feature the veteran NHS campaigner, Harry Leslie Smith. 

Harry Leslie Smith, 95, will tell the NHS 70 event what health care was like when he grew up in Barnsley. His moving personal story takes us back to the 1920s and explains how those without money simply didn’t receive healthcare.  For him this ended in the tragic loss of his sister to TB in a workhouse infirmary because his family were too poor to afford health care. This tragedy led to his resolve to campaign for the NHS, and his struggles are encapsulated in Ken Loach’s film “The Spirit of ‘45”.

Today Harry Leslie Smith campaigns for the future of the NHS and he explains passionately “I am history.”

Harry will be joined by special guests Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the trade union PCS, who survived a life-threatening condition, and received a heart transplant at the 11th hour, and many NHS staff who will share their experience of the NHS. Today Mark is a passionate speaker on the NHS and a great campaigner for its future.

This rally is a chance for everyone to come together and celebrate 70 years of the NHS and to send a message to the NHS staff and thank each and every one of them for what they have done for us.  It also provides an opportunity for everyone to discuss their hopes and fears about its future.

Rachael Maskell MP says:

“The NHS is so important to all of us, and yet, as we have read this week, the NHS is in serious debt and services are being rationed. It is therefore important for all of us to celebrate the amazing achievements of the NHS over the last 70 years, as well as understanding why it is in such a precarious state. It will be an uplifting evening mixing incredible stories, experiences, information and the opportunity for everyone to mark this important landmark.”

“I am hosting this event as I know how important the NHS is for everyone across York. It is an opportunity for people to come and say thank you, while also hearing health stories – including how to improve your own health and wellbeing.”

“At the event, NHS staff will also receive awards for their service in the NHS today. For anyone who has a connection with the NHS, this is a unique event for you.  I hope as many people as possible will join us.  Further information about the event can be obtained by telephoning my office on 01904 623713 or e-mailing rachael.maskell.mp@parliament.uk

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