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NHS has ‘touched hearts’ of stars in charity hit single

MASTERMINDED PROJECT: Dr Katie Rogerson
MASTERMINDED PROJECT: Dr Katie Rogerson
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The Leeds doctor behind a new Band-Aid style NHS 70th birthday charity hit has told of how they got its star-studded line-up - attracting the likes of Sting, Ozzy Osbourne, Louis Tomlinson and Beverley Knight.

Dr Katie Rogerson, a children’s doctor from Roundhay, and NHS communications Manager Joe Blunden masterminded the project to release the song ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’, which is currently climbing the charts.

She told the Yorkshire Evening Post how the big names came out in force because the NHS touched all their hearts.

“We had music stars from across all seven decades of the NHS They weren’t craving attention; they didn’t need the cash, and they weren’t seeking the limelight.

“As soon as they were asked to help, they came forward willingly - all of their contributions really touching the heart. And they did so, because the NHS had, along the way, also touched theirs.”

Initially Paul McCartney gave his blessing to record The Beatles’ classic and the rest - an astonishing list of pop and rock who’s who - joined to form the ‘NHS Voices’.

These also included Englebert Humperdink, Nile Rogers, Tony Hadley, Elbow singer Guy Garvey, Rick Astley, Gabrielle, UB40, Squeeze, Seal, Alexandra Burke, Marina and the Diamonds and Louisa Johnson.

Forces’ sweetheart icon 101-year-old Dam Vera Lynn also helped with spoken words of support and Roald Dahl illustrator Sir Quentin Blake event produced the cover art work.

It was recorded at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios and produced by US superstar Timbaland and Grammy nominated producer Jon Cohen.

The big names are backed Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir, of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, porters and administrators, first featured on Gareth Malone’s TV show Sing While You Work, who had a 2015 Christmas number one with A Bridge Over You.

Katie, 34, who studied at Leeds’ Notre Dame Sixth Form College an now works at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, is also an accomplished jazz singer who runs projects for the NHS choir.

She said she and Joe wanted to bring “optimism and positivity back into the NHS, and, with a bit of luck, to put smiles on the faces of colleagues working with us in the service today.

“We decided to do it with voices and a song. But, not just any old voices, and not just any old song. This was to be a special project, and we called it, perhaps, in retrospect, a tad unimaginatively, NHS Voices”.

All proceeds are going to NHS Charities Together, a group of more than 130 charities to improve the experience of patients.

lThe song can be streamed on Spotify, other major music providers, or downloaded from iTunes, Amazon or Google Play see nhsvoices.com/download.