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Happy 70th birthday NHS

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Buildings across Lancashire will be lighting up blue to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS on Thursday 5 July.

County Hall in Preston and eight libraries, including Bacup, Carnforth, Kirkham, Skelmersdale, and Ribbleton, will be lit up from 9 o’clock tomorrow evening to celebrate the big day.

Park Hospital in Trafford was the first NHS hospital to be opened on 5 July 1948 by health minister Nye Bevan. At that time, the hospital was in the old county of Lancashire and Lancashire County Council handed over the keys of the hospital at a ceremony marking the beginning of the NHS.

Archivists from the county council have also put together a display, which includes an annual report and souvenir booklet from Park Hospital, as well as equipment which would have been used in NHS hospitals back in 1948.

County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “It’s fitting that we’re lighting up County Hall and Lancashire’s libraries to mark this celebration as the first NHS hospital opened its doors in Lancashire on 5 July 1948.

“Park Hospital, now called Trafford General, was within Lancashire at the time and Lancashire County Council handed over a ceremonial key to the hospital to health minister Nye Bevan to symbolise the beginning of the NHS.

“The NHS plays a vital role now, just as it did 70 years ago and we’ll continue to work closely together to keep our communities fit and well and to ensure that people with health issues get the early support and treatment they need.”

The following libraries will be lit up on Thursday 5 July: Ribbleton, Bacup, Kirkham, Carnforth, Skelmersdale, Bolton-le-Sands, Longridge and Silverdale.

The objects in the display to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS will be on display in County Hall, Preston on Thursday 5 July.

All the objects are from the Lancashire Archives Service. For more information about the archives, visit: www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries-and-archives/archives-and-record-office

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