NHS heroes to be awarded Freedom of Sefton for pandemic work

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NHS heroes at two Merseyside hospital trusts are set to be honoured with the Freedom of Sefton for their work during the pandemic.

Sefton Council’s cabinet will consider granting the prestigious award to Liverpool University NHS Trust, which includes Aintree Hospital, and Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust at its meeting next week.

Council leader Ian Maher 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 [at risk] to protect the people of Sefton.”

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Several Merseyside councils, including Knowsley and St Helens, have already awarded the freedom of their boroughs to local NHS trusts in recognition of their efforts during the pandemic.

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Cllr Maher added: “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.”

The freedom of the borough, given in recognition of “eminent services” to Sefton, has only been awarded five times since the borough was created in 1973 and is the highest honour the council can bestow.

Previous organisations that have received the freedom of the borough have all been military, including RAF Woodvale, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and 238 (Sefton) Squadron of 156 Regiment, Royal Corps of Transport.

Two individuals have also received the award – Liverpool FC star Jamie Carragher and champion horse trainer Donald “Ginger” McCain.

If approved by the cabinet, the decision will be ratified at a subsequent meeting of the full council.

Sefton’s cabinet will discuss the award at its meeting at Bootle Town Hall next Thursday (May 27).