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Date: Friday 4 July 2008

NHS founder's statue to sit beside Mick McGahey

As part of a series of events marking the 60 Anniversary of the NHS, the largest health care union in Scotland has commissioned a statue of Aneurin Bevan, the architect of the NHS.

UNISON's Lothian Health Branch has contracted Andrew McFetters - the sculptor who produced the statue of miner's leader Mick McGahey - to produce the Bevan statue. The two working class leaders will sit side-by-side in George V Park, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian.

Tom Waterson, Chair of UNISON Lothian Health branch and of the union's Scottish Health Group said "It is entirely appropriate that the founder of the NHS will sit next to an important workers leader. The NHS was created to provide free care for all who needed it, and stopped the crime of working people being unable to afford vital healthcare."

Other connections between Bevan and McGahey are that Bevan was himself a miner and a miner's union official, and he married Fife miner's daughter Jennie Lee. Mick McGahey's son also works in the NHS, and is the Lothian Health Branch Secretary.

The statue has recently been commissioned to mark the 60 Anniversary of the NHS, and will be worked on by Andrew McFetters over the summer. It is due to be unveiled later this year.

UNISON is involved in a range of events to mark the 60 Anniversary. These have take and are taking place throughout the year, including a special screening of Michael Moore's film 'Sicko' that UNISON put on in the GFT in January; a family funday in Strathclyde Park late in June, and a family day out at Ayr Racecourse this Sunday.


For Further Information Please Contact: Tom Waterson (Chair - Lothian Health Branch) 0775 362 7575 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)