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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 2 July 2018

Happy Birthday NHS

It's birthday time for the NHS this week and staff at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust are hanging out the bunting and icing the cakes in preparation.

All year the Trust has been marking NHS70, the anniversary of the service's creation in 1948. We've been reflecting on the past, celebrating the present and looking to the future.

Former staff have shared their stories and memories of life on the wards in times gone by, including Edith Kenney from Somerset. Edith was one of the first of the new NHS student nurses and can recall an era of rations, curfews and even leeches from her early days at the RUH.

We've been exploring some of the people and stories that lie behind our ward names, investigating some of the more unusual artefacts from the past, and contemplating how job roles have changed, and will continue to change.

But NHS70 has not only been about the past. The Trust is celebrating advances in science, technology and innovation, including a recent £2.1m grant into Parkinson's disease research to improve the lives of people living with this condition. We're also looking ahead to the transformation of our site, as our new RNHRD and Therapies Centre is almost ready for 'topping out', work starts on our state-of-the-art Facial Surgery and Orthodontic Unit and the design for our new Cancer Centre takes shape.

On the actual NHS70 birthday, Thursday 5 July, staff across the Trust will be raising a toast with a celebration tea party, with special NHS70 cupcakes, commemorative pin badges and slideshow of patient 'thank yous'. The Mineral Water Hospital building and RUH buildings on the Combe Park site will be 'lighting up' blue along with historic and high profile sites across the country.

Chief Executive James Scott said: "This is a very special year, and Thursday a very special day, for all past and present staff at our hospital. It's a perfect time to recognise the great things that happen every day in our hospitals, and to say a huge thank you to everyone who's made us what we are and everyone who's helping to shape our future."

Notes to Editor
  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is now working towards building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit:

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