Europe was also closer than ever as the Channel Tunnel linking England and France opened for the first time. Meanwhile, a group of healthcare workers began a journey of their own, as they embarked on exciting NHS careers.

On Thursday 4 July, 16 members of staff who have clocked up 30 years of service to the NHS were honoured in the annual Long Service Awards at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. Together, they have accumulated more than 500 years of service between them.

They were presented with certificates and vouchers by Trust Chair Harry Turner and Chief Executive Stacey Keegan.

Harry said: “The Long Service Awards are truly one of the highlights of my year, as it is such an honour to be able to pay tribute to remarkable people who have given decades of service to the NHS.

“One thing I have always been clear about is that the NHS’s greatest asset is its people, and here at RJAH we are lucky to have some truly outstanding people.

“Many of those we had with us today have spent their entire NHS career with RJAH, and we thank them for their dedication and commitment. It is wonderful for me that I get to thank them on behalf of all of our patients.”

Stacey added: “On behalf of the Executive Team, and also on behalf of the NHS, I would like to thank all our staff who have received their long service award for their commitment to caring for patients over the past 30 years.

“Thirty years’ service to the NHS is an extraordinary achievement and I’m humbled by the knowledge and experience you all bring to this Trust, day-in, day-out.

“This event has happened to have fallen on the day that the country is going to the polls for the General Election. I can say without hesitation that this group of people get my vote – they have consistently delivered fantastic results for our patients and service users!”

All the staff members presented with a certificate and voucher have dedicated 30 years of more of service either at the Oswestry-based hospital or elsewhere in the NHS.

The full of list of staff celebrating over 30 years’ service this year are: Allen Edwards, Apprentice and Widening Participation Lead; Nicola Clements, Personal Assistant in Histopathology; Mr Nilesh Makwana, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Foot and Ankle; Rachel Owen-Howe, Medical Secretary; Sam Young, Deputy Chief Nurse; Jill Roberts, Reporting Radiographer; Julie Lloyd-Evans, Advanced Practice Physiotherapist; Rebecca Dytor, Physiotherapist; Jane Owen, Senior Management Personal Assistant; Jennifer Titley, Cleanliness Technician; Dawn Emmerson, Cook; Louise Smith-Williams, Podiatrist; Christine Lee, Logistics Supervisor; Amanda Evans, Nurse; Julie Huxley, Rheumatology Nurse and Linda Head, Moving and Handling Coordinator.