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NHS for Christmas No 1

Tagged In:  NHS

The 2015 X Factor winner may have a fight on their hands for the Christmas No 1 spot. Three junior hospital doctors are running a campaign to make this year's festive chart-topper a charity single that pays tribute to the NHS and its staff.

Sung by the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, A Bridge Over You is an inspired mash-up of Paul Simon's Bridge Over Troubled Water and Coldplay's Fix You. It's accompanied by a moving video of NHS staff at work, including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists. All proceeds from sales of the single will go to a range of health charities, including Macmillan Cancer Care.

The idea of promoting the song as an alternative Christmas hit came from Harriet Nerva, a junior doctor at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. Together with fellow doctors Katie Rogerson and Joe Blunden, she set up a Facebook virtual event, encouraging followers to buy the single during the key Christmas selling week of 19-24 December. Over 150,000 people have already signed up for the event.

With so much negative press about the NHS right now, the NHS for Christmas No 1 campaign strikes a welcome note of positivity. "This song is a celebration of the NHS," say Harriet and her two colleagues on their Facebook page, asking people to show how proud they are of the NHS by sharing the event invitation with 50 friends. 

Social media buzz

Response to the campaign on social media has been overwhelmingly positive with the twitter feed #NHS4XmasNo1 attracting well over 6,000 followers, ranging from healthcare professionals and members of the public to politicians and celebrities, including Green Party leader Natalie Bennett. Many comments have shown strong support not just for the NHS but also for its staff, for example Myriam Yagud's YouTube post: "Our NHS IS the best in the world. Its staffed by SO MANY good people." 

The stars of the video, the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, are an amateur singing ensemble made up of NHS staff, including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists. TV viewers who tuned in to Gareth Malone's 2012 BBC2 show Sing While You Work will already be familiar with the choir, who were narrowly beaten in the final by employees from Severn Trent Water.

You can find out more about the NHS for Christmas No 1 campaign plus how and when to buy the single here.

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