The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) team at Southport Hospital has won a prestigious national ward from Nursing Times

Local NHS staff will be celebrated for working tirelessly through the Covid pandemic by being awarded the Honorary Freedom of the Borough. 

The award to Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust will be discussed at next week’s Sefton Council Cabinet meeting. 

Aintree and Liverpool University NHS Trust is also due to be honoured.

A report to the meeting proposes the council place on record its high appreciation of, and the debt of gratitude to the Trusts in the light of their hard work and dedication during the ‘devastation of the Covid 19 Pandemic’.

If agreed, the report will go forward to a future Full Council meeting and suggests organising a civic reception at an appropriate time for the two Trusts’ officers who have, the report says, ‘served Sefton Council and its residents tirelessly throughout the pandemic with hard work and dedication putting themselves at risk in ensuring the safety of others.’

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council said:

“There can be no doubt that throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the staff of the Aintree and Liverpool University and Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trusts have worked tirelessly. They have selflessly put themselves and to protect the people of Sefton.

“These two organisations illustrate perfectly why the National Health Service is seen by most as the jewel in Britain’s crown and it would seem appropriate to mark their steadfast service by conferring the Honorary Freedom of the Borough on them.”

Conferring of the Freedom of the Borough upon an individual or service is the highest honour the Council can bestow. It gives the receiving organisation ‘the right, privilege, honour and distinction of marching through the streets of the Borough on all ceremonial occasions with colours flying, bands playing, drums beating and bayonets fixed’.

Previous organisations to have been granted Freedom of the Borough include RAF Woodvale, in 2011, and No. 238 (Sefton) Squadron, 156 Regiment, Royal Corps of Transport, in 1982. Individuals who have had the honour bestowed upon them include Jamie Carragher, in 2004, and Donald “Ginger” McCain in 2006.

Scrolls of Honorary Freemen and organisations awarded Freedom of Entry to the Borough are displayed in the Mayor’s Parlour at Bootle and Southport Town Halls. Honorary Freemen can also attend and take part in civic receptions and functions to which all Members of the Council are invited.

The costs of the scroll and reception for Aintree and Liverpool University NHS Trust and Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust would be financed from the Mayoral Hospitality budget provision.

Next week’s Cabinet meeting takes place at 10am on Thursday 27th May in The Ballroom at Bootle Town Hall.

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