Raise a cuppa: Dr Hilary Jones joins NHS charities to launch ‘Big 7Tea’ to celebrate NHS turning 70

Today, to mark 70 days until the NHS turns 70, NHS charities across the UK ask everyone to raise a cuppa for the NHS Big 7Tea on 5 July.

The NHS Big 7Tea is a chance for people to celebrate 70 years of the NHS, recognise the hard work and commitment of staff past and present and raise money for 250 NHS charities by hosting tea parties up and down the country.

In recent years NHS charities have funded major capital projects, pioneering research and medical equipment at our hospitals that could not and should not be funded by the NHS. Across the UK they help patients access the best possible care when they need it most.

They also play a key role in mobilising volunteers to support NHS staff, brightening wards and waiting areas with colourful and engaging art and building an important link between our hospitals and our communities.

The NHS Big 7Tea will raise awareness of the vital work of these charities and let the public know how to support them.

The humble cup of tea has a long and proud association with the NHS. Originally served to patients in traditional fine cups with saucers and side spoons as a means of hydration, tea was considered such an important aspect of patient satisfaction that one hospital is rumoured to have even hired an official tea taster.

Dr Hilary Jones said: “My father was a GP so the NHS has always been a significant part of my life. The NHS also saved the life of my premature twins. It has made a huge difference to the health of the nation, so initiatives like the NHS Big 7Tea are a wonderful way for people up and down the country to give back.”

Ian Lush, CEO of NHS charity, Imperial Health Charity said: “Tea is so synonymous with the NHS we couldn’t think of a better way for the nation to toast our wonderful health service and its staff, whilst raising funds for NHS charities.

“Whether it’s traditional builders or a fruity rooibos, we want everyone to dust off the old china, rally friends, family, and work colleagues and come together to raise a cuppa and mark this special occasion – 70 deserves celebrating.

“We’re thrilled to bring our great national past-time and great National Health Service together to raise vital funds to maintain the work of NHS charities around the UK.”

Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “NHS charities raise money and provide vital volunteers to support patient care. By hosting a tea party or volunteering for a local hospital, we can express support for the values and traditions of the NHS, which cares for over 1 million people every 24 hours.”

To find out how to host an NHS Big 7Tea party, download a free pack at


Dr Hilary Jones, Prof Jane Cummings and staff launch the NHS Big 7Tea