Dedicated NHS worker invited to take part in national celebrations marking 70th anniversary

Tessa Litherland, deputy director of financial planning and QIPP at the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waven

Tessa Litherland, deputy director of financial planning and QIPP at the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group. Photo: NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney CCG. - Credit: Archant

A long-serving and dedicated NHS worker from Beccles is set to travel to London to take part in the national celebrations marking the NHS’s 70th birthday.

Tessa Litherland, from the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), joined the national institution 30 years ago.

She is currently deputy director of financial planning and QIPP - quality, innovation, productivity and prevention - and will be joined by colleague Anita Bagge and the CCG’s chief officer Melanie Craig.

The trio will take part in a service of celebration and thanks at Westminster Abbey, alongside other NHS staff from across the country, volunteers and patient representatives.

Ms Litherland said: “The NHS has been a massive part of my life. I’ve met some really wonderful people who, like me, have lived and breathed the NHS, and made some truly great lifelong friends.

“I’m really looking forward to going to Westminster Abbey and being part of the ceremony with staff from all parts of the NHS and celebrating its first 70 years.

“Here’s to the next 70.”

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Ms Litherland joined the NHS 30 years ago after leaving the RAF. She started her career with Peterborough Health Authority, and has held a variety of different roles since; including working in the control room in Norwich overnight on Millennium eve.

She then headed up the contracting department at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in London before moving back to Norfolk in 2004 and joining Great Yarmouth and Waveney Primary Care Trust, the CCG’s predecessor organisation, in 2010.

Ms Litherland said: “The biggest change I’ve seen during my career has been computerisation – I can still remember entering details onto large paper ledgers.

“I also remember debates about how the NHS could reduce waiting times for routine operations – we’ve now cut those waits from years to just a few weeks in some cases, which shows how far we’ve come.”

Ms Craig added: “The NHS is a much-loved organisation which has played a vital role in so many people’s lives since its launch 70 years ago.

“I am delighted to have been given the chance to mark this milestone with some of the health service’s longest serving staff.”

To get involved with the celebrations taking place to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday visit