INVERCLYDE Royal's dedicated frontline staff were sent a big massive thank-you to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

The local Labour Party along with shadow health minister Anas Sarwar turned up at the hospital to hand over a signed card in recognition of everything they do, on a day of celebration in the hospital and other local health care centres.

Nurses on the wards took patients back through the decades as they dressed up in uniforms in honour of all those who helped revolutionise health care locally.

In the new state-of-the-art £7 million pound Orchard View nearby there was also a special event to pay tribute to all those devoted to the health of local people.

Labour's Martin McCluskey, who will be the party's Inverclyde candidate at the next general election, said: "The NHS means such a lot to me and my family.

"We wanted to thank staff in the hospital.

"It is important that we do this because Labour set up the NHS.

"We want to recognise the doctors, nurses, health care workers, technicians, maintenance and cleaning staff, everyone who works with patients and behind the scenes.

"We have sent a card to every ward, every GP surgery and chemist in the area."

Martin has spoken about his own affection for the NHS.

His mum Michaelene was a midwife at the IRH.

Martin's dad Jim, who passed away 15 years ago, also had a heart transplant.

The Labour candidate himself fell ill and had his own life saved by medics at Inverclyde Royal after he went for bowel surgery.

He said: "We all have so much to thank the NHS for."

On the anniversary he was joined by Labour Party members including former MSP Duncan McNeil, who was also the Scottish Parliament's health committee convenor.

Provost Martin Brennan was there along with Councillor Jim Clocherty, a member of the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board.

Local representatives from Unison and Unite were there to accept the card along with nursing staff.

Later in the day there was an event held in Orchard View to celebrate the important role of the local health and social care partnership.

A full picture spread from this event will feature in Monday's Tele.