Happy 75th birthday to our NHS!

Categories: School of Health and Society

Today, Wednesday 5 July, marks 75 years of the NHS! The NHS is a vital partner of the university, and many of our colleagues and students have shared their personal stories and reflections about the impact the NHS has had on their lives.

We will be celebrating with events throughout the day - keep an eye on our social media channels for more!

The evening will see a free lecture by Professor Matthew Cripps, Director of Sustainable Healthcare at NHS England and NHS Improvement, on ‘Using Behaviour Change Approaches to Improve Population Healthcare’, which is open to all. 

Book your place now!

Many of our wonderful alumni, colleagues and students have shared their own personal stories and thank you messages to the NHS. A selection of these are below, and look out for more on our university social media channels throughout the day.

Suzanne Robinson

Suzanne is a graduate of our Business School, and is currently Chief Finance Officer and Director of IM&T (Information Management and Technology) at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust.

"I owe a lot to the University of Salford. I didn’t do well in my A-Levels, so didn't follow a traditional route into university. I studied at night school to get onto the BSc Accounting and Finance degree course, and following an interview process the university saw something in me and gave me a shot as a mature student; without this, I’m not sure what I would have done or where my career would have ended up. 

"The university suggested the NHS Graduate Training Programme to me, and it was actually the only graduate scheme I applied for. Using the technical accounting skills I had learnt and applying them to a ‘not for profit sector’ not only aligned with my values, but the prospect of working for the biggest employer in the country, in a role that supported the best healthcare system in the world - it had me hooked.

"I graduated with a 2.1 (0.6% off a first, which I’ll never quite get over!) and with support from the university I applied for and was delighted to be accepted onto the NHS Grad Scheme to continue my studies as a Chartered Accountant.

"Since then I’ve had the most amazing jobs, working my way up the career ladder from junior accountant to roles in costing, commissioning, income, contracts, right through to senior management. Currently I am Chief Finance Officer and Director of IM&T at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust, a post I’ve held for almost three years.

"If I had to describe the NHS and what it means to me in one word, it would be incredible. I have been working in the NHS for over 20 years now and no matter which role you work in, we all share the same desire to make a difference to people’s lives. What I do with compassion and commitment allows the clinical staff to do what they do best – care for our patients.

"At its core, the NHS represents all the goodness in humanity. Its purpose is to provide good care for all and I’m proud to work for an institution with values like this.

"In my current job, I am literally blown away by the dedication and compassion our staff show day in, day out. Their jobs are tough; we don’t have as many staff as we need which makes it harder for each individual, but their commitment to their work and their service users never wanes. And it’s not just our wonderful doctors and nurses, we have so many varied careers - domestics, IT specialists, porters, plumbers, chefs, data analysts, pharmacists, Occupational Therapists, receptionists. One big family, united in caring for our patients.

"My degree gave me such a good head start with my professional qualifications, but it taught me so much more as well. From a person with little confidence in themselves academically, with no real idea of what I what I wanted to be or what I could achieve, my time at the University of Salford allowed me to grow as a person. The course pushes you outside your comfort zone, but in a supportive and encouraging way; working with people from all different walks of life. The NHS needs strong, passionate, committed individuals who have people at the heart of all that they do – although not explicit in the curriculum this is what my experience at Salford gave me.

“I have lots of fond memories of my time at Salford, although some are hazy as it is over 20 years ago! But my best must be the day I graduated. That sense of achievement, pride, disbelief and relief and gratitude. I owe Salford so much which is why as an alumni I want to give back in any way I can.”

Dr Claire Mercer

"I completed my MSc at the University of Salford whilst I was working as Superintendent Mammographer at the Royal Bolton NHS Trust and then came back to Salford for my PhD whilst I was working in the NHS as Breast Screening Programme Manager at the University Hospital of South Manchester. 

"I left the NHS to come to the university as I was passionate about research and education to support the future workforce. Having worked in the NHS for 20 years (since I qualified as a Radiographer in 1995) it was a big move!

"I made so many close friends whilst training to be a radiographer and working in the NHS, many of whom are still close friends today. The NHS was my home and my work family, it gave me job security whilst I had my daughter and provided me with a wonderful career. I was inspired by the people who worked within it who had such passion about providing patient care. 

“The person who shaped me the most was my manager whilst I was training to be a mammographer, Christine Hopkins, I still think of her to this day and no, we don’t keep in touch as often as we should! She was professional, had an incredible work ethic and taught me the principles of team leadership. I loved working with her and have many fond memories (lots of laughs). I’m not sure I would be here in my role today without her.”

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