22 April 2024

NHS 75th anniversary service held at Salisbury Cathedral

A special service was held by Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust and Salisbury Cathedral yesterday to mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS and 80 years since the US Army opened a hospital in Odstock.

The service also marked the final move of the old city centre Infirmary to the Odstock site as Salisbury District Hospital 30 years ago and the 70th anniversary of Radio Odstock, the hospital’s radio station, which volunteers run. 

The service included Wiltshire poet Saili Katebe’s first reading of his newly commissioned work that looked at how the faces in the hospital and the community have changed over the past eight decades.

Pampha G-Thapa

Salisbury District Hospital’s poet-in-residence, Martin Figura, also read his commissioned work, a poem about the hospital’s history.

Led by the Dean and Cathedral clergy, with members of the Trust’s Chaplaincy, the service included Salisbury District Hospital staff and volunteers reading prayers and new prose by playwright Paula B. Stanic about the volunteers. 

Shaddahra Jain

Saili Katebe said of the service, “Being part of the project was a privilege. Taking up space in the Salisbury Cathedral for the celebration felt like a special punctuation to the project. It felt important to share the piece in that space with that audience.

I don’t attend many services, but the message and throughline of the service honoured the moment and will certainly be a highlight for me.”

Written by
Andy Munns
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Written by Andy Munns