HOSPITAL staff have been paid tribute to by MP Kit Malthouse at a special event.

Held to mark St Luke’s Day, a celebration at Andover War Memorial Hospital took place on October 18.

St Luke, who is reported to have been a doctor, is the patron saint of physicians and it is traditional for this day to be used to celebrate the efforts of all those working in healthcare.

The chaplaincy team at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Andover hospital, led short services at each of the hospitals.

During the event, Mr Malthouse said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to all of you. The thing that makes a critical difference in healthcare is the staff and it strikes me that working in healthcare is not just a job – it’s a vocation.

“The people of Andover really value this hospital and you have incredible approval ratings locally. It makes a big difference to the whole community to know that we can turn to people who have this vocation to look after the sick and those around them. It has been great to have an opportunity to reflect on that today.”

Trust chief executive Alex Whitfield, who joined Mr Malthouse, said: “Our staff are caring and innovative people, who show amazing passion and compassion for our patients. I’m delighted to be able to call all of you my colleagues.”

“We are part of a long history of people taking care of others in their times of need. It’s amazing to be part of that history and I’d like to say thank you to all of the staff who make the NHS the service it is today.”