Thursday, May 13News For London

Two NHS choirs set to battle it out for Christmas number one.

Two songs produced by NHS staff have gone on sale in a bid for the prestigious festive top spot.

Hospital Navity
Source: Provided by NHS4XmasNo1

Dr Harriet Nerva, from Queen’s Park London, started the campaign #NHS4XmasNo1 in October through Facebook and Twitter. Her social media pages support the combination of ‘Bridge over troubled water’ and ‘Fix you’ by Coldplay. The song is performed by Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, a group that includes nurses, physiotherapists, porters, doctors and administrators.

The 26 year-old junior doctor has asked that people wait until Friday 19 December to download it, despite the song’s availability on iTunes. This will mean that sales will count towards the Christmas chart. Speaking to Westminster World she said:

“It’s a really beautiful track and it’s a fantastic celebration of the work NHS staff do”

She added: “I really wanted to get the message out to the wider political establishment that we will fight for our NHS”

 

 

 

 

The group were runners up in the TV series Sing While You Work which aired on BBC Two in 2012. Since the competition, the choir has been active in the community participating in the campaign to save Lewisham A&E.

The competition

The National Health Singers are a choir formed of junior doctors from across the country. Clare Dove and Dr Sanju Arianayagam wrote the song ‘Yours’ which currently sits at number 90 in the iTunes download chart. Dr Nerva, who works at Hinchingbrooke Hospital about 10 miles out of Cambridge, is not worried about the competition.

“I’m really happy that we’ve got this kind of creativity in the NHS and it’s great that we’re getting this exposure. Their song’s message is fantastic, the lyrics very much focus on not overworking junior doctors,” she said.

She added “The junior doctor contract does go to the heart of the NHS. You’d be quite hard pressed to find a junior doctor who doesn’t have quite low moral at the moment”

 

 

Celebrations

Even if the song does reach number one Dr Nerva said she won’t be celebrating. She is working a night shift in A&E on Christmas Day, but she is excited for what the songs success could do for the NHS’s moral:

“It would be a celebration in itself. To get the song out there to the NHS staff who will need a moral boost while working over the festive period. I will be happy for NHS staff to receive recognition for the really hard work there going to be doing over Christmas, it’s going to be a gruelling time.”

Any money made from sales will be split between the charities Carers UK and Mind who support mental health and its research. “Carers are our partners in care they’re often unsung heroes who don’t get enough recognition.”

 

#LoveYourNHS

The campaign ‘Love your NHS’ was started off the back off Harriet’s bid to make Lewisham and Greenwich choir number one this Christmas. They are asking people to post selfies to twitter and facebook holding a sign that says “I DO”.

Charlton Athletic showing their support for the campaign:

This year, for only the the fourth time, the Christmas number one will be revealed on Christmas Day.  BBC Radio One will be counting down the festive chart from 10am.