Welcome to our celebration of NHS 75!

In 2023, the National Health Service turned 75 years old and here at PHU we did lots across the year to celebrate our staff, patients and community.

This website page website gives you the opportunity recap stories from our staff and learn about the history of PHU.


Our staff have been sharing their stories and memories of working for the NHS for our 75th anniversary celebrations.

Select the tabs below to get to know the people who make us #ProudToBePHU

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What is your name? Dr Mark Roland

What is your job title? Respiratory Consultant, Deputy Medical Director

Where do you work? Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust

When did you start in the NHS? First job after qualification was in August 1990

Why did you choose to work in the NHS? Working in healthcare was a passionate vocation for me from a young age, very much wired into my DNA. I have always worked for the NHS as I’m passionate about the equality of care we strive to offer for all. 

Describe what you do in 100 words: At my core I’m a Respiratory Consultant with an interest in lung cancer and end of life care. I enjoy working in ward teams with the challenges and rewards that brings. As Deputy Medical Director I have the privilege of providing clinical support and leadership in a wide variety of domains including Mental Health, Mortality, Infection Prevention and Control, Patient Safety and Clinical Ethics amongst others. This diversity enables me to interact with a wide range of stakeholders, striving to improve the quality and safety of the care we deliver, trying to bring kindness and compassion into our conversations.  

What do you enjoy most about your role? The astonishing variety, the intellectual challenges, the humanity, the camaraderie, the privilege of providing care for those most in need, and the experience born ability to bring patience, calm and kindness into some of the most stressful situations. There is never a day that goes by without my learning something new after over 30 years in practice. 

What would you say to someone thinking about a career in the NHS? There are very few careers that will bring the same breadth of experience, privilege through being able to provide care and support, and immersion in the human experience as working as a health care professional in the NHS. After over 30 years my career remains varied, challenging, educational and rewarding. I could not recommend this exciting journey more highly to others.

How would you describe the NHS in one word? Inspiring.

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What is your name? Bev Longhurst

What is your job title? Senior Research Nurse

Where do you work? Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. Specifically within the Portsmouth Research Hub; a part of the Trust Research team.

When did you start in the NHS? July 1992, when I started my nurse training.

Why did you choose to work in the NHS? Initially – I didn’t give it too much thought, just wanted to be a nurse! Very soon I realised I wanted the opportunity to help others, from diverse backgrounds & situations, in a really varied environment – there are so many departments & specialties to choose from, I knew I’d find something that really suited my skills/personality. 

Describe what you do in 100 words: Although I am technically part of the wider research team within the hospital, in 2021 during the COVID pandemic I helped to set up and run a community research hub in the city of Portsmouth, enabling residents to take part in vaccine research without the need to travel to the hospital.

As one of the senior nurses, I lead and work alongside a fantastic team of professionals providing care to trial participants, both on-site and with virtual/phone study follow up. It’s great to have this opportunity to embed clinical research within the community that we serve. 

What do you enjoy most about your role? Its great to meet new potential participants & support them through the journey to take part in research projects. My role is a perfect mix of patient contact & supporting/leading my team.


What would you say to someone thinking about a career in the NHS? It is a great chance to develop your own skills while providing an essential service to those who need it. You will never be bored!

How would you describe the NHS in one word? Special.

To mark the 75th Anniversary of the NHS, a children’s book has been released containing true stories and experiences of nurses who work all across the country to look after people in their time of need. 

‘Dear Nurse’ is a book of the stories of midwives, nurses and healthcare support workers who work in a variety of different settings including hospitals, schools and people’s homes. This provides a wide perspective of the experience of nurses and an insight into what it is like to work as a nurse. 

Portsmouth Hospital University NHS Trust’s own Elizabeth Varughese, Senior Registered Mental Health Nurse, participated in the project and her own story is the first in the book. She shares her experience coming alongside a patient in their time of need and the difference it made having an ordinary conversation. 

Elizabeth could not believe that her story was chosen to be part of the Dear Nurse project and was even more excited to see it on the shelves of her local bookshop. 

“Publishing a book has always been a dream for me and now it has come true! Even if one child is inspired by these stories and chooses to be a nurse in the future, that would be a victory for me personally.” 

‘Dear Nurse’ is available now in stores and online and 50p from the sale of each book goes to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Foundation. 

Take a look at the video above to hear from Elizabeth as she explains more about the project and reads her article.

We've been looking back at the history of QA as part of our NHS 75 celebrations and we're so excited to share with you all we've found. Take a look below to learn more about our history!

History of PHU

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Capturing what the NHS means to them, dozens of youngsters entered a drawing competition to celebrate 75 years of the National Health Service.

The Portsmouth community voted in their hundreds on Instagram to choose the winners of our two categories and these will be displayed at Queen Alexandra Hospital, alongside four runner up entries.

The winner of the under 8 years old category was Ethan Harding. The six-year-old drew his dad, who is a nurse and trainee advanced clinical practitioner at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHU), surrounded by love hearts and a rainbow.

Runner ups Ellen Pop, 6, captured the iconic multi-coloured frontage of Queen Alexandra Hospital while 7-year-old Iris-Ann recreated our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as she was born there herself and dreams of becoming a midwife. Every year Iris and her family deliver cakes to the NICU team on her birthday.

Twelve-year-old Emitis Parvander took inspiration from her mother’s role as a Theatres Practitioner here at Queen Alexandra Hospital, adding wings and a halo as part of her thank you to the ‘angels of the NHS’.

Both runners up, Lucy Cassford, 10, and Ruby Guha, 9, drew the old main entrance of Queen Alexandra Hospital. The new entrance, complete with facilities including a new lecture theatre, changing places facilities and Marks and Spencer, will open in 2024.

Chief Nurse at PHU Liz Rix said: “It has been so wonderful to see what the NHS means to our young patients and community and we would like to thank everyone who entered.

“Congratulations to our winners and our runners up! It will be a pleasure to see their creativity displayed on the hospital walls.”

You can follow your local NHS Trust on Instagram @portsmouth_hospitals


  • Under 8 years old winner: Ethan Harding (6)
  • Aged 8 – 14 years old winner: Emitis Parvander (12)

Runners up:

  • Under 8 years old: Ellen Pop (6) and Iris-Ann (7)
  • Aged 8 – 14 years old: Lucy Cassford (10) and Ruby Guha (9).