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Happy 70th Birthday to the NHS!




Today (05 July 2018) marks the 70th birthday of the NHS!

To celebrate this momentous anniversary, we thought we would share some of the notable achievements of the NHS over the years and to take the opportunity to thank the incredible staff who work tirelessly to support us day in, day out.

The beginning…..


The NHS was established on 05 July 1948 by Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan. It was a hugely ambitious plan at the time, uniting hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists under one organisation.

Bevan was keen to ensure that everyone was able to access good healthcare which was free at the point of delivery.

Changing the way we think about mental health


In 1961, Enoch Powell spoke to delegates at the National Association for Mental Health Conference in Brighton where he shared his belief that there should be greater community provision for those affected by mental health.

His speech was regarded as a revolution in mental health treatment as it changed the ways that people thought about mental health and signalled the end of asylums.

The NHS demonstrated further awareness of mental health with the introduction of the Mental Health Act 1983. The Act had specific focus upon issues of consent and let patients know their rights regarding assessment and treatment.

Making the most of technological advances


Advances in technology have played a big part in the evolution of modern medicine.

The NHS introduced CT scanners in 1972, just five years after they were invented by Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield, whilst MRI scanners were introduced in the early 1980s.

Both machines revolutionised the ways in which doctors were able to examine the body and it should be noted that whilst technology has progressed significantly in the last 45+ years, the basic principles of both machines are still in place today.

In 2007, the NHS made headlines around the world when a robotic arm was used at St Mary’s Hospital in London to treat patients for fast or irregular heartbeats. The treatment involves inserting fine wires into a vein and delivering electrical currents to specific parts of the heart muscle – cardiologists control the robot via a joystick, and it is thought that in the future this process could become completely automated.

Prevention as well as cure


The NHS isn’t just about treating illnesses; it has also invested heavily into preventative programmes which can not only educate the public how to live healthily, but also to detect earlier signs of disease.

The first breast screening initiative was launched in 1988, with breast screening units offering free mammograms to women over the age of 50. The combination of breast screening and improved drug therapies has significantly reduced the number of breast cancer-related deaths.

Cancer screening initiatives have been a key part of the NHS’s strategy in recent years. In 2006, the NHS introduced one of the first bowel screening programmes in the world – notable for its inclusion of men as well as women.

Focusing services in the community


In the 1990s, the NHS began a major transformation as the NHS Community Care Act 1990 gave health authorities the ability to manage their own budgets. The Act led to the creation of the NHS Trusts that we know today, which were launched with the aim of creation and innovation.

Providing wider access for the public has continued to be a priority for the NHS.

In 1998, the NHS Direct helpline was established. The service became the largest e-health service in the world (it handled more than 500,000 calls per month) before it’s closure in 2014. It was replaced by the NHS 111 service whilst a wealth of useful information was made publicly available via the NHS Choices website.

So, a big thank you to all those who have worked within the NHS


As you can see the NHS has evolved enormously over the past 70 years, and it is rightly regarded as a national institution.

The NHS has helped provide quality healthcare to millions of people, and we would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank every single person who has ever worked within the organisation.

Whether you’ve worked there for over 50 years, or you’ve just started your career, your contribution to supporting the health and wellbeing of others is invaluable.

Thank you to everyone for your continued efforts over the last 70 years, and we are excited to see how the NHS will continue to evolve and develop in the future!
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