A matron from the Horton said she was ‘honoured’ to join NHS workers from across the country at a 70th anniversary ceremony at Westminster Abbey yesterday, Thursday.
Michelle Brock, who works in the emergency department, was joined by Ariel Lanada, a divisional education lead at the John Radcliffe, in representing the 12,000 staff employed by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Services were held at Westminster Abbey and York Minister to commemorate 70 years to the day that Aneurin Bevan, the then health secretary, launched the NHS in Manchester.
As part of the ceremony, there were speeches from health minister Jeremy Hunt, Chancellor Philip Hammond, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, NHS England boss Simon Stevens, and multi faith leaders.
Michelle, from Bicester, said: “We were really honoured to be representing the Trust and to be part of it was really special.
“We understand the pressures but the day was a celebration of how good the NHS is.”
She added: “The Abbey is phenomenal – it was fabulous.”
Michelle said the highlight of the day was hearing clinician and patient stories, including that of 15-year-old Freya Lewis who survived the Manchester bombing in May 2017.
The 55-year-old started her career in the NHS in 1979 aged 17 and worked as a trauma and orthopaedic nurse at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the John Radcliffe before becoming a matron in 2007.
Ariel joined the Trust from the Philippines in 2002 and is now a senior nurse in the trust.
He said: “It was a great celebration. I was humbled and proud to be able to represent OUH with Michelle.”
OUH Chief Executive Dr Bruno Holthof, added: “It was very difficult to have to pick out just two people to represent all our staff but Michelle and Ariel have both worked for the trust for a number of years and their commitment to excellent care, and the way they lead and support their colleagues is widely recognised.”