NURSES are championing all they love about the National Health Service by throwing a birthday party this summer.

Staff at Bealey Community Hospital in Dumers Lane, Radcliffe are supporting UK-wide campaign Big Up the NHS by celebrating the service’s 66th birthday.

They are urging Radcliffe residents, ex-patients, families and anyone with a connection to the hospital to attend their free #NHS66 party on July 5 between 2pm and 4pm.

Lorraine Abbott, a staff nurse at Bealeys, said: “There has been so much negativity surrounding the NHS in recent years.

“It is not only demoralising for the staff who work so hard, but for the patients who are frightened when they have to come into hospital.”

The party will feature a raffle, stalls and entertainment from the fusilier drummers, Morris dancers and a folk band.

All proceeds are in aid of the hospital’s League of Friends. Bealey Community Hospital was first opened at the Bealey Memorial Convalescent Hospital in 1903 by Radcliffe’s famous Bealey family.

It later became the Bealey Maternity Home and Child Welfare Centre and in 1980 it was converted to a GP-led community hospital providing intermediate care beds.

Lorraine is also asking ex-patients or anyone with a connection to the hospital over the years to get in touch and share their memories.

She added: “I wanted to do something really positive. There are so many good stories which come out of the NHS every day, but we do not get to hear about them.

“The point is to raise morale, raise the profile of the campaign and celebrate the things which are great about the NHS. How can you not get behind it?”

The Big Up the NHS campaign was set up in August last year by Steve Smith, a Birmingham-based physician, and currently has more than 18,500 followers on Twitter.

Other #NHS66 parties organised by NHS workers and supporters are expected to happen on July 5 across the UK and will be publicised on social media.

For more information about the Bealey party: call 0161 723 2371. Address memories to Bealey Community Hospital, Dumers Lane, Radcliffe, M26 2QD.

To find out more about Big Up the NHS: go to, follow @butNHS on Twitter or search Big Up The NHS on Facebook.