NHS turns 73: Heroic service celebrates birthday milestone

BHRUT hospitals will be increasing critical care capacity to manage the rise in Covid-19 patients. 

BHRUT hospitals will be increasing critical care capacity to manage the rise in patients with Covid-19. - Credit: Chantelle Billson

As the NHS turns 73, the Recorder looks back at how the local service has managed its most challenging ever period.

Romford's Queen's Hospital is one of countless up and down the country that was thrust into the coalface of coronavirus less than 18 months ago.

This newspaper watched on as the facility - part of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) - battled every negative milestone of Covid-19 and waited for the ray of hope offered by vaccination.

As a birthday message and a tribute to every person who works for the NHS, here's a timeline of the most significant moments to take place at Queen's Hospital since the pandemic began.

March 12 2020

First patient died of Covid-19 at Queen's Hospital.

March 24 2020

How are staff coping just weeks into lockdown? The Recorder spoke with Magda Smith, chief medical officer for BHRUT.

March 26 2020

Visitors to Queen's Hospital are suspended until further notice.

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March 27 2020

The first clap for NHS workers took place around the country, including in Havering.

NHS clap for workers

The start of a tradition which saw NHS workers applauded each week as they battled against Covid-19. - Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

April 7 2020

A consultant from the intensive care team at Queen's Hospital shared his experience of life on the frontline.

May 19 2020

Queen's and King George Hospitals recorded 400 coronavirus-related deaths.

November 6 2020

Queen's Hospital headed into the second lockdown with hospitalisations five times higher than on March 22.

December 15 2020

A new vaccination hub opened at Queen's Hospital.

December 16 2020

First people vaccinated at Queen's Hospital.

Romford care home worker gets Covid-19 vaccine

Carer Yvonne Fothergill was among the first to get vaccinated at the hub which opened at Queen's Hospital last December. - Credit: BHRUT

January 11 2021

5,000 vaccines administered at Queen's Hospital.

January 14 2021 

Critical care capacity at BHRUT hospitals stands at 95 per cent as deaths exceed 1,100.

January 21 2021

1,000 vaccines administered at Queen's Hospital.

January 28 2021

Queen's Hospital 'past the peak' of Covid-19, according to BHRUT chief medical officer Magda Smith.

March 2 2021 

After one year of the pandemic, there were 26,414 cases recorded in Havering.

March 11 2021 

One year in, and BHRUT staff shared their experiences with the Recorder: "The biggest sentiment everyone feels at the moment is sheer exhaustion. Everyone is absolutely exhausted."

April 20 2021

Covid-19 hospital admissions and deaths reported as on the decline at Queen's Hospital.

April 26 2021

A doctor documented the 'terrifying reality' of Covid-19's second wave.

June 11 2021

New figures reveal the impact of Covid-19 on NHS waiting times.