This weekend, as the NHS turns 72 years old, Epsom and St Helier will be marking a moment of commemoration and reflective celebration.
On Saturday 4 July at 8pm, a minute’s silence will be held outside Epsom and St Helier hospitals, and a candle illuminated for every life sadly lost to COVID-19 at the Trust. Subject to social distancing rules, staff and members of the public are welcome to gather at the entrance to St Helier Hospital and the green opposite, and at the SWLEOC entrance of Epsom Hospital, to mark this occasion with us.
Shortly afterwards, as the sun goes down, our acute hospital buildings will be lit up in NHS blue to celebrate the NHS turning 72 years old – a year unlike any other in the health service’s history.
Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles said: “As the NHS turns 72, there is just so much to be proud of and to reflect on – it almost goes without saying that this has been an incredibly challenging time for the NHS and our amazing staff have gone above and beyond to care for patients and protect our communities. And that’s exactly why we are holding this dual event – while we think it’s important to celebrate our fantastic health service and the staff who power it, we cannot do so at this time without paying tribute to those who have sadly died during this pandemic, and the local families affected by the crisis.
“Our staff have battled to provide life-saving care to COVID-19 patients, and I am pleased that large numbers of our patients have overcome the worst of the virus, but we cannot forget the impact it has had. If you would like to, please join us just before 8pm on Saturday and feel free to bring an LED candle should you wish to pay tribute to a loved one.”
The cost of lighting the hospitals will be paid for by the Trust’s dedicated charity Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity (1049197). To find out more about the charity visit: www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/esth-charity and to make a donation online to our ‘thank you’ appeal, visit: www.justgiving.com/campaign/ThankYouESTH.