Fifty years of volunteering at NUH | Celebrating the NHS turning 75

Celebrating the NHS turning 75

NHS 75 To help celebrate the NHS turning 75 this week, we are shining a spotlight on the work of some of our NHS heroes across Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) as well as remembering key milestones for the Trust, including when King Charles was a patient at the Queen’s Medical Centre and celebrating 45 years of clinical genetics at NUH.    

Here you can find the latest news and stories relating to our celebrations as we begin a week of recognising 75 years of the National Health Service.  

At NUH, the 75th anniversary provides the opportunity to reflect on past achievements and recognise where we are today whilst looking ahead to the future, with our People First report helping to set the direction for the Trust to reflect on what is needed.  

We will also be reflecting on the huge achievements of the NHS as a whole such as treating over a million people a day in England and the fact that the NHS touches all of our lives.  

When it was founded in 1948, the NHS was the first universal health system to be available to all, free at the point of delivery.  

From the world’s first CT scan on a patient in 1971, revolutionising the way doctors examine the body, to the world’s first test-tube baby born in 1978, the NHS has delivered huge medical advances. 

Below are some NUH NHS stories which we hope you will enjoy to celebrate this huge milestone.  

Fifty years of volunteering at NUH

A woman who had her bowel removed in her twenties has dedicated her life to helping others going through the same thing. 

Bow Heath, 80, was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease at the age of 10. The symptoms for this include tummy pain, diarrhoea lasting longer than 4 weeks and bleeding.  

She had her bowel removed when she was 27 after pre-cancerous cells were discovered. 

“Wearing an ileostomy bag in my twenties was a daunting thought,” recalls Bow. 

“I wanted to wear miniskirts and look as glamorous as any other young woman - but after suffering for 15 years, I was desperate for a cure, no matter how terrible that cure might be. I wanted to live to see my two young daughters, aged 2 and 5, grow up.”   

After surgery, Bow met another patient who helped her to feel confident again.  

“She managed to look feminine and gorgeous with the stoma bag - I was over the moon.” 

Bow’s surgeon encouraged her to join City Hospital Stoma Outpatients’ clinic, to share her experience with other younger people going through similar experiences.  

And 50 years later, Bow still supports specialist stoma nurses at the clinic, logging in patients as they arrive, sending them through to the nurses and looking after the day-to-day running of the clinic.  

“It is always so rewarding to see very worried and frightened patients coming to clinic being reassured by these wonderful nurses in a very informal clinic setting. It is this clinic l came to after my surgery, l still had drips attached to me and it started me on my road to recovery in 1973 and l remain committed to this clinic.” 

Jenny Taylor, from Urology said. “Bow has been a vital member of our Saturday Stoma clinic which has been running for over 50 years. She has a wealth of experience to offer our new members and always has a smile and welcoming face. The clinic runs very smoothly with Bow at the helm. We love her and couldn’t do without her.” 

The clinic encourages group discussion, providing the opportunity for people with a stoma to exchange views and ideas on their shared problems and successes. 

When asked how it feels to be the longest serving volunteer at NUH, Bow said:  

"It’s amazing. I don’t know where the years have gone. I thought lockdown would’ve been the end of volunteering – but we’ve bounced back. I have no plans to stop anytime soon.” 

If you are interested in volunteering please call our application line Tel: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 85318. You can also email  

We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience and analyse our traffic. By clicking accept you consent to our use of cookies. More information can be found here.

Please choose a setting: