Latest news and updates on activity to celebrate 70 years of the NHS in Scotland

Wednesday, 6 June, 2018 - 85,000 to join special parkrun to celebrate NHS’s 70th birthday

Runners and NHS staff from across Scotland are being encouraged to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS by getting involved in their local parkrun event on Saturday 9 June.

Backed by double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes, parkrun for the NHS   is the first event of its type, with more than 85,000 people throughout the UK expected to take part.

Staff from all parts of the NHS, from doctors to domestics and paramedics to porters, will join runners, walkers and volunteers at more than 300 local parkruns to mark the contribution the NHS has made to the nation.

Parkruns are volunteer-led 5k events that take place each Saturday morning in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and are open to walkers and runners of all ages and abilities. On 9 June, participants are encouraged to don NHS-themed attire, with NHS staff being encouraged to attend.

As well as recognising the NHS’s birthday, it is hoped that parkrun for the NHS will encourage new participants, including NHS staff, to get more involved in physical activity and volunteering.

Inactivity is a key cause of obesity, which it is estimated is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year.

For more details and to find your local event, visit:

Dame Kelly Holmes, a regular parkrunner who was a nursing assistant before joining the British Army and becoming a full-time international athlete, said: “The NHS is there for us in the best and worst of times, as my family and I experienced during my late mother’s illness last year.

NHS staff work hard to support us and parkrun for the NHS is a perfect opportunity for people to show their support for the NHS in its 70th year. I too will be supporting the event on 9 June."

Dr Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, said: “We recognise the benefits that being physically active brings for both a person’s mental and physical health. parkrun offers a fabulous opportunity for anyone and everyone to get involved and reap the rewards that exercise can bring. It’s social, it’s fun, and it’s good for you. As we approach the 70th anniversary of our NHS, I would encourage everyone to explore the ways in which they can make a difference to their health outcomes and consider lacing up your running shoes to take part in this special parkrun UK event.”

Chrissie Wellington, Head of Health and Wellbeing at parkrun, said: “We want to encourage healthcare practitioners to signpost people to parkrun, especially those who are least active and have long term conditions, because we know that participating in parkrun can help improve health and wellbeing. parkrun for the NHS is the perfect way for us to increase awareness of parkrun amongst the health service while at the same time paying tribute to the enormous contribution of NHS staff.”

For more details and to find your local event, visit:

Monday, 4 June, 2018 - NHS at 70: Scotland's health secretary Shona Robison reflects on her own NHS story

To mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Scotland's health secretary, Shona Robison, has been asking people to share their stories of care throughout the decades.

Here, Ms Robison reflects on her NHS Story.

Source: Hollyrood Magazine

Tuesday, 22 May, 2018 - Marking 70 Years of the NHS in Scotland

Health Secretary Shona Robison is encouraging people across the Scotland to share their stories and memories of health care throughout the years at the launch of the celebrations to mark the run up to the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

At a visit to the neonatal unit in Edinburgh today, Ms Robison heard the stories of two people touched by the NHS - Gavin Scott, born on the day the NHS was formed on 5 July 1948,  and Lisa Choate, who gave birth to a baby boy on 2 May 2018.

Ms Robison said: “The 70th anniversary of the NHS provides the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the institution that has done so much for so many.

“At its heart are the thousands of employees whose skill, dedication and compassion make the NHS what it is, consistently striving for the highest possible standards in clinical excellence and patient care.”

Monday, 21 May, 2018 - Scots win at NHS Heroes Awards

Two winners at the 2018 NHS Heroes Awards represent the NHS in Scotland. They were:

Hero nurse, Betty MacIntyre and Unsung Hero, Willie Shields

Betty MacIntyre: Delivering babies on lifeboats is all in a day’s work for 70-year-old Betty.

For 50 years, she has travelled to expectant mums by ferry, helicopter, lifeboat, dinghy and even quad bike as a midwife in the remote Scottish Western Isles.

She even delivered a baby in a horsebox and on a pier.

“There have been many times where babies have been born not breathing and I’ve had to resuscitate them,” says Betty, from Oban. “When you hear that baby cry there is nothing like it.”

Willie Shields: Qualified engineer and Estates Officer Willie, 71, was one of three surprised with a special award.

He spent 50 years sterilising equipment used in life-saving surgery at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Betty and Willie represent the very best of our finest national institution in its 70th anniversary year.

At the awards ceremony in London Prince William described the NHS as “one of our country’s greatest treasures.