Our NHS 70 celebrations and pledges

The National Health Service (NHS) turned 70 on 5 July 2018. Across the country there were celebrations to commemorate the achievements, innovations and individuals that have shaped the NHS as we know it today.

During June and July Vale of York CCG embraced the celebrations not only as a CCG, but across the Vale of York community to reflect on the history and achievements of one of the nation’s most loved institutions.

We organised a number events with our local communities, health partners, local authorities and voluntary sector which focused on acknowledging the great work of the NHS, whilst raising awareness for our key priorities.

  • Keeping yourself and your community healthy and well (self-care, prevention, exercise, diet)
  • Supporting mental health and well being
  • Tackling loneliness and isolation

It was important to focus on creating a legacy for the Vale of York and collectively asked members of our community to share their pledges to show how they will help health and care services, by telling us: 

  • How they would improve their own health and wellbeing
  • How they could support their neighbours and local community

The engagement process

Meetings were held to work collaboratively across the council, health and voluntary sector. It was agreed at these meetings to host a series of joint events to actively engage with the local community about their health and wellbeing.

We attended and hosted over 20 events across the Vale of York and helped facilitate/promote even more through GP surgeries, libraries, care homes and local employers such as LNER. We received support by local MPs, Lord Mayors, providers, businesses and voluntary sector organisations. These included:

  • A business briefing session, jointly with the Public Health team and the local MP to work with local employers and look at how they can help support the health and wellbeing of their workforce.
  • A double-decker bus tour of various sites in York, Selby and Easingwold, and members of the public were invited to come along to receive healthcare advice, signposting and health check-up.
  • Encouraging encouraged our GP practices, Care Homes within the patch to hold an event on the day.
  • Working with the library to support their health and wellbeing sessions.
  • Hosting an internal NHS Vale of York CCG 1940s-themed event to celebrate 70 years of the NHS that the public were invited and encouraged to take part in. The celebrations included food, music and other attractions.

The CCG’s giant NHS 70 birthday card, which had been touring the Vale of York on the double-decker bus, was also available to sign and write goodwill messages in.


  • 8 May 18, Voluntary Sector Forum, 10am-12pm
  • 18 May 18,  Acomb Library Explore, 10am-3pm
  • 30 May 18,  Mumbler maternity event at York Mount School
  • 1 June 18, Bus Tour York Central York and Acomb
  • 4 June 18,  People Helping People Launch (CVS and CYC)
  • 7 June 18,  Tommy Whitelaw: What matters to you? Two sessions
  • 8 June 18, Employers meeting at West Offices 15.30-17.00
  • 11 June 18,  West Offices Foyer, 11am-1pm
  • 12 June 18,  York Festival of ideas
  • 12 June 18,  Festival of Ideas, 12pm-2pm
  • 15 June 18,  Bus Tour Easingwold and Monks Cross
  • 18 June 18,  Bus Tour Selby
  • 2-6 July 18,  Acomb, York, Clifton and Tang Hall Libraries NHS7tea party celebrations
  • 2 July 18,  Tea and cake at East Riding Carers Advisory Group
  • 3 July 18,  Pocklington Carers forum tea and cake
  • 4 July 18,  Staff NHS 70 Celebration, 1pm
  • 5 July 18,  West Offices Tea Party, 1-3pm
  • 5 July 18, NHS 70 – celebration at York Minster
  • 7 July 18,  Selby War Memorial NHS70 celebrations, 1pm-4pm
  • 19 July 18,  Health and wellbeing session with LNER (trains)

Communications and media

As part of the NHS70 engagement project a range of methods were adopted to encourage participation and involvement from a variety of patients, the public and stakeholders.

The public events and drop-in sessions were advertised and communicated through a number of channels including:

CCG stakeholder and public email list

  • Press release
  • Local MPs
  • GP practice communications
  • Partner organisations
  • Local Healthwatch and voluntary sector
  • Community groups
  • Health and Wellbeing Board
  • Posters in shops, libraries and public buildings in the areas where the events were taking place
  • CCG website and twitter account
  • Internal staff newsletter

We had a number of articles in the York press and local papers, and a programme was hosted on York TV. We were also supported by notable leaders across the patch.

Partners, voluntary sector and local health organisations got involved and shared information, pictures and events through their networks.

Key messages and themes

We collated the verbatim written comments pledged at our public engagement events. The key themes are outlined below, complete with examples. 

Theme 1: Leading a healthy lifestyle

People felt strongly about maintaining their health and wellbeing by leading a healthy lifestyle. This included, keeping active and participating in more regular and consistent exercise:

  • “To run three times a week.”
  •  “To walk instead of using the car whenever possible and to encourage my son and family to do the same.”
  •  “I will continue to walk every day now that I’m seventy!”
  • “To keep up with the walking, football and Yoga whilst also supporting the NHS”
  •  “To be more active every day”
  • People also pledged to eat more healthily in order to live better:
  • “To reduce my BMI and eat more healthily”
  •  “Reduce sugar intake and exercise more”
  • “To teach the importance of medicine as food and of food as medicine”
  • “To exercise more and eat more fruit and vegetables and also use the NHS services appropriately to educate my family to do the same”
  • “To feed my daughter more veg (peas)!”

Theme 2: Mental Health

The theme of looking after your mental health recurred throughout the pledges, with people listing it as one of their health priorities:

  •  “To continue promoting mental health and compassion focused therapy to the young and the vulnerable.”
  •  “To keep my mental health healthy and in check.”
  •  “I do exercise to improve my mental and physical health”
  •  “To continue walking to reduce isolation and loneliness”


Theme 3: Awareness and correct use of NHS Services

Some people recognised the importance in ensuring that they use the NHS in the correct way and pledged to always ensure they used the most appropriate service first:

  •  “To collect and share leaflets to spread awareness of available services in the community and encourage their use”
  •  “To use the appropriate service to meet my needs, e.g. talk to a pharmacist before making a GP appointment or to call NHS111 before going to A&E.”
  •   “To prioritise asking a pharmacist for advice before booking an appointment at the doctors.”
  •  “To use the services of the NHS where needed and properly.”


Theme 4: Celebrating the NHS

  • As NHS 70 was a time to reflect on the NHS, some people took the opportunity to thank the NHS for the services, care and treatment they had experienced:
  • The maternity services I had was the best care! My first baby was with private, my second was with the NHS and it was much better
  • The treatment I received over the past 3 years when I needed hospital treatment was extremely good, caring and to be praised
  • My son who was very ill- with his chest and received treatment from the NHS which has been amazing. Though there are imperfections, the most wonderful people work there!
  • I had a fantastic experience and personally can’t speak highly enough of the NHS


What our community said - all of your pledges:

Full verbatim comments: