DORSET health care staff are due to attend a service at St Paul's Cathedral to mark the NHS 73rd birthday.

The service will give thanks to the hard work of the NHS over the years, with a special dedication to the sacrifice and effort of staff during the pandemic. 

The birthday service will be led by the Very Reverend Dr David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s as well as the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London later today, Monday, July 5.

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NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens will deliver an address recognising the dedication and commitment of all those who have played their part in combating coronavirus across the NHS, care sector and beyond. 

Elizabeth O’Mahony, regional director of the NHS in the South West, said: “The service at St Paul’s Cathedral recognises the incredible effort that has been needed across the health and care sector and in our communities to tackle the challenges of this pandemic.

“I am proud of the continued work of our NHS staff and the volunteers who have supported us over this past year. It is important we take this moment to reflect and give thanks, and remember those who sadly are no longer with us.”

Jess Griffiths, eating disorders practitioner, Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust said:  "I'm delighted that I've been invited to the NHS National Service of Thanksgiving on 5 July. I think it’s going to be a poignant event and there will be such a lot to celebrate.

“The NHS has been a lifeline to so many people through this last year in particular. I will be representing all the staff who have worked so hard over this time, we're all a team and we couldn't do what we do without each other."

Minnie Klepacz, matron at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust said: “I was very flattered to be invited to St Paul’s for the National Service of Thanksgiving. I will be very proud to represent University Hospitals Dorset and all my colleagues across our hospitals.

"This last year has brought us all closer together as one team and has shown how fantastic our NHS is. I came to Bournemouth from the Philippines 19 years ago to work as a nurse and it is also such an honour to represent the many Filipino staff working across our NHS.”

Dr Ashley Price, a member of the team who treated the very first patients with the coronavirus in this country, and May Parsons, who administered the first vaccine outside of a trial, will also take part in the socially distanced service. 

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Saïd Professorship of Vaccinology at the Jenner Institute, who designed the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine and Professor Sir Peter Horby, who helped run the NHS trial that found the first effective treatment for COVID-19, dexamethasone, will also be among those attending.