CAMPAIGNERS celebrated the 69th birthday of the National Health Service by delivering a card to the city's hospital.

Health activists visited Worcestershire Royal Hospital on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of the NHS, which was launched on July 5, 1948.

It's Our NHS Worcestershire ordered the birthday card and it was signed by hundreds of local people.

Events are being held across the country to praise the health service and to let politicians know how much it is valued.

Mike Cross, an activist for It's Our NHS Worcestershire, said: "It was so easy collecting signatures.

"People saw what the card was about and practically queued up to sign.

"Despite all the problems we hear about, people know NHS staff do their best and that problems are more to do with underfunding.

"The public really treasure the NHS and cherish the concept of treatment according to need and not wealth."

The card was presented to a member of the hospital's communications team by Dr Sylvia Chandler, who is also joint-chair of Keep our NHS Public Worcestershire.

The retired GP gave a short presentation speech which focused on health campaigner Harry Smith.

Mr Smith was 91 years old when he told the Labour Party Conference about his life before the NHS, in 2015.

He said his sister died of tuberculosis because the family could not afford a doctor.

Dr Chandler, quoting Mr Smith's speech, said: "The NHS is for me as great as Magna Carta because it freed millions from the tyranny of sickness and poverty to move forward and lead productive lives."

She added that ordinary people must be vigilant against groups seeking to privatise the NHS.

Birthday celebrations have been organised across the country after an appeal by Health Campaigns Together and It's Our NHS.