Events at Barnstaple hospital held by union and staff members to mark the anniversary of the health service.

MEMBERS of the Unison North Devon Health branch were donned period and modern uniforms today to mark 65 years of the NHS.

Members walked around North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple handing out fairy cakes to celebrate the 65th birthday of the health

The public and staff were asked to sign a birthday card to show their faith in the NHS and 150 messages of goodwill were collected in just under two hours.

The service was created in 1948 to provide 'free at the point of care' medical services to the nation and end a long history of inequity.

Aneurin Bevan, founding father of the NHS said in 1948 that 'the NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it'.

Simon Needham, branch secretary and NHS staff member said: "We are all able access the services provided by the NHS and we are rightly proud at the quality of service, and staff dedication.

"At 65 most of us would be thinking of retirement, but today is about celebrating a public service which is still going strong. This is despite the repeated measures introduced by the current government which UNISON believes are weakening the service."