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NHS 75

5 July 2023 marks 75 years of the National Health Service.

Treating over a million people a day in England, the NHS touches all of our lives. When it was founded in 1948, the NHS was the first universal health system to be available to all, free at the point of delivery. Today, nine in 10 people agree that healthcare should be free of charge, more than four in five agree that care should be available to everyone, and that the NHS makes them most proud to be British.

nhs 75 cake topper.pngAt WHH we are celebrating this milestone by showcasing the best of Warrington and Halton Hospitals.

Some of our staff, former staff, volunteers and patients have chosen to share their NHS stories. We are very grateful to all for taking the time to share or record their stories reflecting on what the NHS means to them.

WHH Staff NHS Birthday messages

Stories from current, former staff and volunteers

Patient Stories

Community support that makes such a difference to us all

Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals (WHH) has always been fortunate to have incredible support from members of the local community and local businesses.

In 1996 the hospital trust established an official charity to formalise how this support was targeted to enhance the experience of patients and their families. The goal was to provide additional comforts, care and support beyond which the NHS is able to provide. 

Over the years WHH Charity has made a significant impact on the care provided to patients at both hospital sites and across a variety of different services.

In recent years the charity’s fundraising has enhanced the service provided to some of the youngest patients by creating a children’s play area off the paediatric ward, which provides opportunities for outside play which is proven to aid recovery.

A bespoke therapy garden next to the stroke unit gives patients and families a relaxing environment outdoors which benefits both mental and physical health during their stay.

Patients undergoing treatment at the Breast Care Centre in Halton have also been able to receive additional services above and beyond their NHS treatment. Those patients undergoing treatment within our Halton therapy services now also have a vegetable garden to aid their rehabilitation and recovery.

The support from communities was never more evident than during the COVID-19 pandemic when deliveries of refreshments, foodstuffs, toiletries, clothing and toys were distributed at all hours by the charity team. These donations enabled the trust to support inpatients who could not receive visits from loved ones, as well as staff who were working round the clock to care for them in the most challenging of circumstances.

WHH Charity Head of Fundraising Helen Higginson said: “We cannot thank our communities in Warrington and Halton enough for the support they have provided to us over the years. This support makes such as difference to us all, from the patients and their families to the staff caring for them.

“Every single contribution made to our charity helps and is very much appreciated. We would love to talk to more people about how they can work with us as fundraisers or charity volunteers to help us provide the best positive experience for patients in our hospitals.”

For more information on the work of the WHH Charity and details of how you can get involved in our fundraising or campaigns as an individual or a corporate sponsor, please visit whhcharity.org.uk. Alternatively call 01925 662666 or email whh.charity@nhs.net

WHH History

A timeline of Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals

  • 1898: Warrington General Hospital was created from the old Victorian workhouse building.
  • 1929: Renamed Warrington Borough Hospital, which was how it was known when the NHS was created on 5th July 1948. To this day some people still call it the Borough. There were two other hospitals on the Warrington site; Aikin Street (an infectious diseases hospital) and Whitecross Hospital, which was run by the military. 
  • 1973: Warrington District General Hospital created by merging all hospitals on site.
  • 1970s/1980s: Demolition of these buildings makes way for the current hospital to grow in four stages: Appleton Wing, then Burtonwood Wing, Croft Wing, and later Daresbury Wing in the 1990s.
  • 1976: Halton General Hospital opened in Runcorn, part of the development of Runcorn New Town.
  • 1993: Hospitals are handed over from Warrington Health Authority to the newly formed Warrington Hospital NHS Trust and from Halton Health Authority to the new Halton General Hospital NHS Trust.
  • 1996: An official charity was registered to enhance the experience of patients and their families to provide additional comforts and support beyond which the NHS is able to provide.
  • 2001: North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust is formed by the merger of Warrington Hospital NHS Trust and Halton General Hospital NHS Trust.
  • 2006: Warrington becomes the centre for acute medical and emergency care and planned surgical work is moved to Halton General. Halton retains some urgent care services (now the Urgent Treatment Centre).
  • 2008: A further name change as following the achievement of Foundation Trust status, the trust becomes Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
  • 2012: The Trust takes ownership of Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre at Halton from a private healthcare provider and services including orthopaedic surgery services move into the building.
  • 2019: The Trust achieves Teaching Hospital status and becomes Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
  • 2020:  The Trust responds to the global COVID-19 pandemic and mobilises a COVID-19 Vaccination Service. Halton General Hospital is renamed Halton Hospital with buildings renamed as Nightingale Building (formerly the general hospital) and The Captain Sir Tom Moore Building (formerly Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre).
  • 2021: A Clinical Research Unit, new Breast Care Centre and Pre-Treatment Unit open at Halton and the Habab Education Centre and a new Acute Respiratory Unit open at Warrington Hospital.
  • 2022: Developments at Warrington include a new Same Day Emergency Care Centre, MRI Centre and a refurbished outpatients department for children and young people.
  • 2023: Halton Health Hub at Runcorn Shopping City opens in February, supporting residents to access health services more easily and quickly. The Warrington and Halton Diagnostics Centre commences services at Nightingale Building, Halton and plans are underway for more diagnostic services to be provided from Halton Health Hub and Captain Sir Tom Sir Tom Moore Building.