With a month to go before the NHS officially celebrates its 60th birthday, the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust is asking local people to share their memories of mental health and learning disability services over the last 60 years.
The Trust provides care to the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield and is asking local people including staff, retired health workers, people who use or have used services and their families to share memories of NHS mental health and learning disabilities care. This comes as people across the country are being asked to join in celebrations to mark the 60th birthday of the NHS, which came into being on 5 July 1948.
The anniversary week (30 June – 5 July) will form the focus of celebrations, with a series of events taking place around the UK involving NHS staff, patients, carers and the public. This includes a service of celebration held in Westminster Abbey.
South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust is joining in by holding special events for local people where their memories of the NHS will be displayed alongside the first ever leaflet produced about the NHS and key milestones in the history of the NHS.
Steven Michael, Trust Chief Executive, said, ‘Mental health and learning disabilities services have seen vast changes over the last 60 years, changes for the better. We have moved away from the old asylum model, which was a deliberate act of social exclusion, towards a much more integrated community model of care. We would love to hear personal stories and memories from local people that help document these changes.’
Steven Michael continued, ‘It seems fitting that as the NHS is celebrating its 60th year and looking to the future, local NHS mental health and learning disability services are on the cusp of a new era as we head towards Foundation Trust status, a new type of organisation based on membership. Over 9650 local people have already joined the Trust in what is possibly the biggest change the NHS has ever seen. We’re delighted to be at the forefront of that change, involving local people and ultimately driving up standards of care.’
Local people can join as a member of the Trust or send their memories of mental health and learning disability services online at www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk. They can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to NHS 60, c/o Communications Team, Fieldhead, Ouchthorpe lane, Wakefield, WF1 3SP.