East and North Herts NHS Trust is celebrating the 73rd birthday of the NHS with a "thank you" week for staff.

The week started with NHS Big Tea events across many trust sites on Monday – including Hertford County Hospital, Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood and the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City.

Free cake and a commemorative rainbow pin badge were offered to staff as part of the celebrations.

On Tuesday, the trust held a special memorial service at Lister – attended by the Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss – to remember those that have sadly passed away. 511 flags are being displayed at the entrance to the hospital – one for each COVID-19 death.

An area for reflection has also been set up in memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore – whose fundraising efforts last year included a contribution to the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals’ Charity’s #HereForEachOther appeal, which has funded the week.

The trust’s Health at Work service will be at Lister tomorrow (July 8), providing complimentary therapies such as hand massage and acupuncture to staff, and advising them on the local and national support available.

Other events during the thank you week include a free barbecue and ice cream for staff to enjoy – all funded thanks to the generosity of the public to the hospitals’ charity appeal.

Speaking at the start of the celebrations, Nick Carver, chief executive of the trust, said: “These events are just a small token of our appreciation for the amazing work our staff do and what they have achieved throughout the pandemic.

“Their commitment and dedication in providing compassionate care during these extremely difficult times has been incredible. We owe every single one of our staff a big thank you.

“As a trust, we also want to say a huge thank you to the public for their overwhelming amount of support over the last 18 months – it has really had such a great impact on our staff.”