Love Your Hospital, the dedicated charity of Western Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, gifted every patient at Worthing and St Richard’s Hospitals a slice of birthday cake on Thursday 5th July to celebrate the 70th birthday of the National Health Service.

Joined by local Conservative MPs Tim Loughton for East Worthing and Shoreham and Gillian Keegan for Chichester, patients received a goody bag from the charity with cake and a piece of fruit kindly donated by Nature’s Way.

Mr Loughton visited elderly patients on Broadwater Ward and mothers with new babies at Worthing Hospital, while Gillian met with patients and staff on Middleton Ward and spent time with young patients and their families on Howard Ward.

Gillian heard from patient Denise Dale who has been a resident of Bognor Regis for 40 years. Describing the importance of having free healthcare, she said: “The NHS and St Richard’s Hospital mean everything to my family. It’s so very important to all of us.”

After chatting with patients and their families, Tim joined the midwives for their 70th birthday tea party while looking at memorabilia including older style uniforms and historic photographs.

Juliette Pheelan, Senior Midwifery Manager said: “It was a wonderful day and we thoroughly enjoyed the time Mr Loughton spent with us during his visit.”

Kerry Brunnen, Children’s Play Leader at St Richard’s Hospital said: “We were thrilled to welcome Gillian to Howard Ward to celebrate this
very special occasion. She spent time with the children and their parents which was a real treat for everyone. A big thank you to Love Your Hospital for giving patients a boost on this milestone birthday with a lovely slice of cake!”

The charity has also been promoting the national ‘Big7Tea’ campaign calling on local communities to get together, raise a cuppa and hold their very own tea party throughout the year to support local NHS Charities and thank local hospital staff for all their hard work.

On the importance of supporting NHS charities, Tim Loughton said: “Love Your Hospital really compliments the work that hospital staff do by raising money to make sure they can give patients even better care and those extra special things that make people’s stay here  at Worthing Hospital much more comfortable. I want to say a big thanks to Love Your Hospital for making a great difference to patient care.”

Gillian added: “Today I’ve met a number of patients who remember a time before the NHS was there to provide free healthcare to all. They described a world where infant mortality was high and people died from preventable diseases. It was an important reminder of how much our NHS has done to improve the health of all of us and how we must always treat it as a vital and precious service.”

Amanda Tucker, Head of Charity for Love Your Hospital said: “It was a privilege and an honour to share such a special day with Tim. Our staff and patients were delighted to be visited by our esteemed guest as his  gifted a piece of birthday cake to help both with the celebrations and with raising awareness of  the Love Your Hospital 70th birthday fundraising campaign the ‘Big7Tea’. We really want to encourage the local community to get behind the campaign, get baking and help us as we raise vital funds for Worthing Hospital.”