On 5 July 1948 Aneurin Bevan, UK Health Secretary of the post-War Labour government, launched the National Health Service (NHS). He saw his vision realised, to have an overarching healthcare system that linked hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists, and was free for all at the point of delivery.
Today the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, delivering lifesaving work since 1948.
Treating 1.4 million people every day, the NHS has countless success stories over the years, including discovering the link between smoking and cancer; introducing mass vaccinations for polio and other life-threatening diseases; reducing infant mortality dramatically; performing the first successful hip replacement and IVF procedures; setting up screening programmes for breast and cervical cancer; and more recently introducing a revolutionary robotic arm at St Mary’s Hospital in London for patients with fast or irregular heartbeats.
The NHS is asking the public to join in with the NHS70 celebrations, ‘talk about the wide array of opportunities being created by advances in science, technology and information’ and to thank the NHS staff, ‘the everyday heroes – who are always there to greet, advise and care for us.’