To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has compiled an ambitious project to celebrate the passion, skills and dedication of NHS staff throughout the years.
The 70 Years 70 Stories project has been created to chronicle the experiences of the people who work for the NHS and to showcase the diverse number of professions within the Trust.
Each of the 70 stories is presented as a short video featuring a member of staff speaking about what they do, and what their role means to them. The people interviewed range from frontline staff, volunteers, IT and financial workers, all the way up to Chief Executive Dame Jackie Daniel.
Andrew Pike, Head of Quality Assurance and Clinical Effectiveness, Clinical Governance and Risk Department devised the project alongside Elaine Coghill, the Trust Lead for NMAP, Research, Education and Practice Development.
He said: “To celebrate the anniversary, we wanted to create something that would be interesting to both NHS staff and the public which highlighted the variety of roles within the NHS, and the fact that there are so many people with different skills working tirelessly to provide the care the NHS is celebrated for.”
Andrew and Elaine set up working groups with staff representatives to find the 70 stories that would make up the project.
Andrew said: “As it was so important to get stories from as many different areas as possible, we also spoke directly with managers in areas such as portering, catering, sterile services, research and so on to stress how important it was that the vital contribution from staff in these areas was captured.
“Whenever the public see the NHS on the news or think about the NHS as a workforce, they see nurses, doctors, surgeons, or healthcare assistants. That is right, but only a proportion of the NHS team. Without the other staff – the pharmacists, coders, accountants, estates, scientists, – they couldn’t provide the fantastic care they do.
“I was fascinated listening to the stories and it definitely opened up my eyes to the breadth of skills in the Trust. There is so much pride amongst staff in what they do that we didn’t struggle for volunteers!”
70 Years 70 Stories was created in collaboration with Tyneside-based digital developer Discover eLearning Ltd.
They created the visual stories by taking each interview conducted with the members of staff and transforming the audio recording into a video. A website was then built in order to host the stories online.
Discover eLearning founder Chris Hodgson said: “I was immediately excited about the prospect of being involved in a project to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our NHS. I definitely think that the work and dedication of our health care professionals working in our region needs to be recognised and applauded.
“Since working on the project I have had a wonderful experience working with members of the project team, who have contributed so much time and effort to make this project come to fruition. It was an honour being brought in to meet and be a part of the team.”
The collaboration between the Trust and Discover eLearning was also especially successful due to a mutual understanding of how important such stories are relating to the North East.
Chris said: “Though I have had great success working with clients across the UK and internationally on digital development projects, it is the projects that are closest to home that mean the most to me.
“I love living and working in the North East, and being a part of projects like this that let you be involved with the inspiring and passionate people that we have in our region.”
Andrew added: “When I met with Chris, I immediately felt he ‘got it’. He understood that this was going to be a challenging piece of work, and that we would be relying on him and his skills very heavily to make it happen within the tight timescales we had – and we haven’t been disappointed.
“Chris has not been an external contractor working on this, he has become an integral part of the Trust project team. I am very proud of what we have achieved together.”
The NHS was launched on 5 July 1948 by health secretary Aneurin Bevan at Park Hospital in Manchester with the aim of providing good healthcare to all for free for all at the point of delivery.
For the first time, it brought together hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists under one umbrella organisation. The NHS is now the UK’s largest employer, with over 1.5 million staff and deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours.
The 70 Years 70 Stories project is now available to view online at https://70years70stories.co.uk.