Serving us well for sixty years

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THIS weekend has inevitably been a time for reflection, as the nation has largely paused to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

That reflection has given us cause to compare life in the past with today and also what it may be like in the future.

Today and tomorrow, this newspaper will tell the stories of the encounters some of our readers have had with the Queen - stories that throw a light on some remarkable people we have here in South Yorkshire.

And on Friday, we were able to celebrate our own 60-year couples, those celebrating their Diamond wedding anniversaries. Their stories, too, provided much to make you proud.

And today we take the opportunity to look back at the development of our National Health Service over the past 60 years.

Some will say the NHS today is a poor relation of its early years.

But despite its restrictions, its bureaucracy and now some of the changes that have been introduced, we still have a service we can be proud of.

The NHS is under huge pressure today, but is still unrivalled in the quality of service it provides every day.

Inside today’s newspaper we are able to tell the experiences of two youngsters, who, without the expertise we have here in Sheffield, would not be alive today - all thanks to the NHS.

It is easy to criticise the NHS and there is uncertainty over its future with the proposed changes. But let us not forget the incredible work that it does and the people who work within it.

Here in Sheffield we have world-leading hospitals and teaching and research facilities - all in need of our support.

The St Luke’s Hospice is largely unfunded by the Government and the Weston Park Cancer Hospital has just launched a £1.3m refurbishment campaign. This, on top of the Children’s Hospital’s £10 rebuilding project.

These three massive funding appeals just go to show that while we may hark back to an NHS that has served us so well, it is to the future we must look and ensure our fine institutions are able to carry on providing world-leading healthcare for tomorrow’s generations as well.

Deserving thanks

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners in the Rotherham Federation Residents and Tenants Association awards.

Without the work of those people who lead their neighbourhood associations, everywhere in South Yorkshire, our communities would be poorer places.

They are the true unsung heroes of the community, who may often see their work go unnoticed, but would be the first to be criticised if they were not there to do it. Well done.