Local landmarks illuminated in NHS blue for health service’s 75th anniversary

Salisbury Cathedral

Seventy-five years of the NHS have been marked in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire with the lighting-up of three of the region’s most iconic landmarks.

The Roman Baths in Bath and the Central Library in Swindon were bathed in NHS blue on Wednesday 5 July, as the region celebrated the health service’s historic anniversary.

In Wiltshire, Salisbury Cathedral’s famous spire illuminated the night sky, just weeks after the globally recognised place of worship, which served as a pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinic during the pandemic, hosted a service of celebration in honour of NHS 75.

The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury, said: “For three quarters of a century, the NHS has been at the heart of our community, caring for us, saving lives and preparing us for our dying.

“The Cathedral likewise observes key moments in life’s journey – our beginnings, and our most momentous commitments. The Cathedral too seeks to relieve suffering through practical compassion and, as a Christian community, we try to prepare for our dying in faith and with hope. God bless the NHS.”

Cllr Richard Clewer, Chair of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Partnership and Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “The NHS plays a central role in the lives of everyone living and working in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.

“It is fantastic that we have been able to celebrate the enormous achievements it has made over the past 75 years and thank its hardworking and dedicated staff by illuminating some of our most iconic local landmarks.

“I’m sure that when Salisbury Cathedral was illuminated, residents of Wiltshire were reminded of the excellent work everyone in the NHS does to support us all to live healthy lives every day.”

The NHS became the world’s first health service that was available for free at the point of need when it was established on Monday 5 July 1948.

Since then, the health service has grown exponentially and, as of 2023, cares for around one million people every day.

This month also marks another local anniversary, as the region’s integrated care board celebrated its first birthday on Saturday 1 July.

Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board was established following the passage of the 2022 Health and Care Act, which saw clinical commissioning groups replaced by ICBs as part of integrated care systems.

With responsibility for providing more than £1.5 billion of health and care services to local people, the role of the ICB has been to improve integration between the different organisations operating across one specific geographical area.

More information on the role of the integrated care board, as well as details of other local health and care organisations, can be found online at www.bsw.icb.nhs.uk.