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Northwick Park Hospital celebrates its 50th birthday with an exhibition of employees past and present

PUBLISHED: 11:45 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:34 29 October 2020

Doctors at Northwick Park Hospital when it opened in 1970. Picture: LNWH

Doctors at Northwick Park Hospital when it opened in 1970. Picture: LNWH

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Northwick Park Hospital is celebrating its 50th birthday with an online exhibition.

Northwick Park's deputy chief operating officer James Walters was born in the hospital in 1976. Picture: LNWUNorthwick Park's deputy chief operating officer James Walters was born in the hospital in 1976. Picture: LNWU

The Watford Road hospital was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth on October 23, 1970.

This anniversary comes during an extraordinary year when Northwick Park was at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic.

Unable to celebrate due to social distancing restrictions, London North West Hospital Trust (LNWH) has taken to social media to champion the contributions of staff past and present.

Highlights include the opening of the children’s unit by Princess Diana in July 1997. The hospital was also used as a backdrop for the opening of the 1976 horror film The Omen and the comedy Green Wing.

The exhibition features pictures of 50 employees who have worked at the hospital during the half century.

Deputy chief operating officer James Walters was born in the hospital in 1976.

His big sister, Fiona Walters, was born just after the unit opened in 1972 and since then one of his three children, Toby Walters, “couldn’t wait to get out into the world” there on October 8, 2010.

“I have worked at the hospital for about eight years, starting my career before the NHS with Harrow Council, as a personnel clerk,” he said.

Nurses at Northwick Park Hospital when it opened in 1970. Picture: LNWHNurses at Northwick Park Hospital when it opened in 1970. Picture: LNWH

“The passion, energy and commitment of the staff keep me here. It’s such a busy hospital that the days are tiring, but everyone pulls together for our patients.

“My biggest challenge has been running the hospital throughout Covid-19.

“The staff worked tirelessly and I had to ask them to work differently, often out of their comfort zone.

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“They rose to the challenge admirably and there isn’t a day goes by where I’m not humbled by the work that they do.”

Pictures in the exhibition range from Nung Ruduwarachana, who represents a small but growing number of female surgeons, to steam boiler engineer Dave Waterman, whose parents and wife also worked in the hospital.

Aptly named Chris Fear got to see how the other half lived when he gave up his career as a funeral director to work as a mortuary technician.

Chief executive of LNWH Chris Bown said: “What I like best about Northwick Park Hospital is the people, it’s people all the time. The dedication, the resilience and their compassion.”


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