Tameside leads the way to fly the flag for NHS

Tameside Hospital is the first NHS Trust in the country to sign up to a national day designated to say thank you to key workers.

The special day will honour those who continue to put their lives on the line during the pandemic – and to remember colleagues who have lost their lives during the pandemic.

The first NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day takes place on Monday, July 5, with a series of events involving every aspect of society to raise money for NHS Charities Together.

NHS Charities Together supports 250 hospitals and their charitable trusts (including Tameside Hospital), and the National Care Association, representing 1.6 million workers caring for some of society’s frailest citizens.

As the first hospital in the country to pledge support Tameside will, with Number 10 Downing Street, receive free of charge a specially-commissioned rainbow flag to fly at 10am alongside hundreds of others expected to grace public buildings, offices, churches and schools.

Karen James (pictured below), Chief Executive of Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS FT, says she and her team are delighted to back such an important initiative which will focus on supporting the dedication and professionalism of doctors, nurses and their colleagues, as they battle to deal with the pandemic.

She said: “Throughout these many months I have been overwhelmed by the way our medical teams and support staff have worked together to treat and care for patients under the most challenging of times. 

“I couldn’t have asked more of them, and to know the nation is coming together on July 5 – the birthday of the NHS – to pay tribute to them and the tens of thousands of others in hospitals and care homes across the country is truly heart-warming. 

“I urge others to follow our lead and get involved.”

The project is the brainchild of national and international pageantmaster, Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR who says he is delighted that Tameside Hospital is the first to fly the flag for the NHS. 

He said: “I understand that the good people of Tameside and Glossop have some of the most challenging underlying chronic health conditions in the country, with high rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes and life expectancy, for both men and women, lower than the national average. 

“This would have made the challenge for staff dealing with Covid-19 all the greater, and I applaud them for all they have done.

“Over the decades the NHS has faced crisis, economic downturns, periods of prosperity, growth and so much more. 

“However, none would argue that these past long months have brought a new respect and affection for the NHS and the people who work for it; we have relied on them to treat us during the coronavirus pandemic and to keep to safe - and they have not let us down.

“Let’s not also forget the tens of thousands of care home workers too who have given their skills and service - often putting their own health on the line to keep safe the elderly and vulnerable.

“I believe a national, annual day when we remember to thank them all - for being there when we need them most – is not only appropriate, but it also taps into the nation’s high regard it has for NHS staff and all care and frontline workers,” he added.


FLASHBACK: Honouring our heroes in Lockdown One.

The tribute will comprise of a series of events throughout the day. These include:

• 10am: The raising of the Rainbow Flag

• 11am: The Two Minute Silence, playing of the Last Post and Reveille

• 1pm: The Nation’s Toast to the heroes of the NHS, social care and frontline workers

• 1pm – Onwards: Garden parties at home and celebrations in the gardens of pubs, hotels and restaurants etc

• 3pm: Afternoon tea, led by the members of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes and the NHS Big Tea Initiative

• 8pm: Clapping and the ringing of church bells.

Senior politicians have signed up to support the initiative and it’s expected that the Prime Minister will lead the two minutes’ silence along with leaders of faith groups to remember NHS and care worker staff who have lost their lives in the service of others.

At this stage it is impossible to predict whether the crisis caused by Covid-19 will be over on July 5, so the events could be subject to change, but provision will be made in the planning for all eventualities.

However, the guarantee is that all proceeds raised will be used in supporting the health and well-being of NHS staff and Care Association workers and will be divided equally between those member hospital trusts and care providers.

The plan is to make this an annual event, growing in size and stature involving individuals, local communities and others. 

Those taking part are being asked to register their involvement on the website www.nhsfrontlineday.org and they can also download a special certificate to keep as a permanent reminder of their participation in this most special of events.

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