Sir Simon Stevens, the outgoing NHS chief, said, “Thank you for assisting NHS through its worst experience.”

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Sir Simon Stevens, the outgoing NHS chief, said, “Thank you for assisting NHS through its worst experience.”

Sir Simon Stevens, the outgoing NHS chief, praised the Daily Express and our army of readers for their “unwavering support” yesterday.

After navigating the health service through the pandemic, the greatest emergency in its 73-year history, the CEO of Europe’s largest employer stepped down.

On the eve of his departure, he had a special message for a publication that has consistently supported him.

“It’s the nurses, doctors, therapists, pharmacists, porters, cleaners, and other employees that make the NHS what it is today – one of our most valued national institutions,” Sir Simon, 54, added.

“I’d want to express my gratitude to all Daily Express readers for their unwavering support throughout the years, especially in the last 18 months, which have been the most trying in our history.

“Knowing they have your support makes all the difference to staff as they go above and beyond for patients and their families on a daily basis.”

This publication has always been a staunch supporter of the NHS, recognizing its special place in the hearts of the people.

The service employs 1.2 million people from 211 different nations and territories, making it the world’s most diversified workforce. One-fifth of the population is from outside the United Kingdom.

Sir Simon, a Birmingham native, was appointed chief executive in 2014, overseeing a £150 billion annual budget.

There have been other achievements, including ensuring that the NHS, unlike in other European countries, did not become overwhelmed during the pandemic.

Then there was the Daily Express’s effort to ensure that the cystic fibrosis medications Orkambi and Kaftrio were made freely available, providing thousands of children with the gift of life.

Many CF patients, like the amazing youngster Harriet Corr, were featured in our crusade.

The NHS was also at the forefront of the groundbreaking CAR-T therapy for previously incurable cancers.

It has also acknowledged the magnitude of the mental health epidemic and pledged to rectify decades of underinvestment.

However, there have been issues.

Elective treatment on the NHS now has long waiting lists.

With unprecedented demand and an aging population, supply difficulties have never been more severe, with critical performance benchmarks consistently missing.

Experts anticipate that once the pandemic has passed, there will be an increase in very ill people, thanks to Covid. Across the country, urgent cancer surgeries have been canceled.

According to new data, the goal of 85 percent of cancer patients starting treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral was only met.

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