A SPECIAL service will be held at Winchester Cathedral on Thursday to celebrate 70 years of the National Health Service.

Representatives from five local NHS Trusts will be taking part, including a parade of 70 members of staff showcasing the diversity of roles within the NHS.

The participating trusts include University Hospital Southampton, Hampshire Hospitals, South Central Ambulance Service, Southern Health and Solent, as well as two Clinical Commissioning Groups (West Hampshire and Southampton City).

Hymns, prayers and readings will celebrate the past, present and future of the NHS, highlighting the vital role that the service plays in our lives and recognising the extraordinary contribution of NHS staff. Photos and artefacts from over the years will also be on display.

The Right Reverend Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London and former chief nurse, will be preaching at the service, with music provided by Winchester Cathedral Choir and two NHS choirs.

The Very Reverend Catherine Ogle, Dean of Winchester, said: ‘The NHS was founded on the great vision of compassionate healthcare for all, regardless of income, age or background and there can be few whose lives have not been touched by the NHS in some way. We celebrate the humanity and dedication of NHS staff in delivering this vision, through great social and technological change, for 70 years.

The service will begin at 5.30pm and everyone is welcome to attend.