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NHS staff from Merton attend special Westminster Abbey service to celebrate landmark 70th birthday

Staff from NHS Merton Clinical Commissioning Group attended a prestigious national celebration at Westminster Abbey today (Thursday 5 July) to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS. 

They joined around 2,400 NHS staff at the ceremony as well as representatives from charities, councils and other key partners who work with the NHS.

The service paid tribute to NHS staff and patients who have contributed to the health service over the last 70 years. 

Those representing Merton CCG at the ceremony included CCG Chair Dr Andrew Murray; Managing Director James Blythe; Rajinder Khakh, PA to the Director of Quality and Director of Performance Improvement who is the CCG’s longest serving member of staff; Clare Gummett, Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement; Dr Karen Worthington, East Merton Locality Lead and Clinical Director for Transforming Primary Care; and Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam, Clinical Director for Planned Care. 

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Dr Andrew Murray, Chair of NHS Merton Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“The NHS’s 70th birthday is an opportunity to thank all NHS staff for the amazing work they do each and every day, whether that is caring for patients or working to transform services to make sure people receive the best care.  It’s a privilege to be able to attend the Westminster Abbey ceremony with colleagues from Merton CCG to celebrate the achievements of the NHS and thank our talented and dedicated staff.”

Celebrations for the NHS milestone birthday are taking place across Merton, the capital and the country this week, to recognise the NHS’s achievements over the last seven decades.   

CCG staff also held an NHS Big 7Tea Party to celebrate and raise money for their chosen charity, the South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust Charitable Fund. 
With the South West London Health and Care Partnership, the CCG is also profiling '70 stars of health and social care' to celebrate everyone who is caring for patients and working to transform health and care services across Merton and south west London. 

Merton stars profiled so far include Raj Patel, Community Pharmacist at The Nelson Pharmacy; Clare Gummett, the CCG’s Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement; Dr Douglas Hing, GP at Central Medical Centre in Morden and CCG Clinical Director; Dr Dagmar Zeuner, Director of Public Health at Merton Council and Dr Paul Riley, GP at the Merton GP hubs and Stonecot Surgery. 

Clare Gummett, CCG Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement, who also attended the Westminster Abbey ceremony, said in her profile:

“I’ve lived in Merton for 35 years bringing up my four children, using just about every NHS service available in the process. My role is to make sure that the patient is central to everything we do – and that their voices are heard.  Working with so many caring and dedicated people is great, from the ‘backroom staff’ to the doctors, nurses and other clinicians. I feel privileged to be part of the effort and consideration that goes into making decisions about providing quality health services for us all in Merton.”

Read the ‘70 stars’ inspiring stories on the Wandsworth CCG website

Find out more about NHS70 at the NHS 70 website