It's the NHS' 70th birthday!!!
05th Jul, 2018
Who would we be if we didn’t start this post off with a giant ‘HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY TO THE NHS!’
70 years of free healthcare at the point of use is not just something to be celebrated, but something to be immensely proud of. Despite relentless challenges being thrown at our National Health Service, the incredible staff have never given up on delivering a service so dedicated and passionate that other countries simply can’t measure up.
So, before we all get choked up and start reaching for the tissues, let’s take a look back in time to 1948, the year our NHS was formed…
*Whizzy time machine noises*
What happened in 1948?
1948 was an interesting year; the Olympic Games were held in London, Rowntree’s started manufacturing Polo mints, Prince Charles was born and so was Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ozzy Osbourne and Samuel L. Jackson! 1948 also saw the opening of the first Oxfam charity shop AND the first ever British supermarket.
But, most importantly, Britain introduced the National Health Service, a universal healthcare system that would be free to UK citizens at the point of use. This was the beginning of a brand-new chapter for British healthcare and one that would change the way the UK cared for patients forever. Aneurin Bevan (also known as Nye Bevan), who stood as the Minister for Health from 1945-51, famously said:
“No society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of a lack of means.”
It was his vision that healthcare would not be determined by the measurement of means but provided to ALL citizens of the UK, regardless of their financial status. The NHS was designed to do just this and would be funded by public taxation and paying National Insurance (National Insurance Act 1911, which was expanded by the Labour Government in 1948).
Let’s fast-forward back to 2018
Today, the NHS is 70 years old and in its lifetime, it’s been there for us throughout ours. It’s helped us through the most tragic of times, from the King’s Cross Fire in 1987, to the 7/7 Bombings in 2005, to Grenfell Tower in 2017.
But the NHS has also been there for the joyful moments; helping us bring our children into the world, finally taking that cast off and keeping us healthy in general, both mentally and physically.
It’s not all about the bad press
To say the NHS has had some bad publicity would be an understatement, but with a constant struggle for resources, it’s an absolute blessing that these everyday heroes still get out of bed every morning, go to work and get the job done.
The healthcare professionals in the NHS have a huge responsibility. Whether you need them today or not, they are out there right now making someone’s life better, and no matter what the headlines say, we never forget what the NHS means to all of us.
What does the public think of the NHS 70 years on?
“I think it’s brilliant that the NHS has survived for so long. There should be more resources going into the service to help cope with the ever-growing numbers of people who require care.”
Catherine, Social Care Worker
“I see the NHS as something we should be very proud of!”
Harry, secondary school student
“Working as an NHS nurse, I’m very proud because they look after us very well and they’re very good with the patients and staff.”
Bigi, Theatre Nurse
“In America, healthcare seems to be based on how much money you’ve got and as a result, a lot of poorer, working people don’t get the brilliant, all-encompassing healthcare that we do with the NHS.”
“I have noticed in the UK that everybody is complaining about the NHS, but you try to provide a service with a lack of staff, lack of funding and a lack of equipment and we’ll talk after. I think people don’t really realise how hard it is.”
Georges, Group Financial Controller
“Some days are really hard – I know, I’ve been there - but you just keep going. You have those days that are just lovely and you’ve looked after a patient really well or you’ve been able to make them more comfortable. You have days that are satisfying and worth it, so you just have to remember those days and just keep going and giving brilliant care.”
Sarah, Clinical Adviser
“It is a rewarding job, not always for physical rewards but mentally it is. It’s probably the best job out there in my opinion – I’m not talking about finances but down to Earth, looking after people. I mean, it all started with looking after people!”
Emmanuel, nursing student
“If there were no nurses or doctors, then if people were sick, they wouldn’t be able to be helped. Because there are doctors and nurses, everyone can be well if they’re sick.”
Rihanna, primary school student
NHS, we love you!
Congratulations to our National Health Service – 70 years young! Here’s to many more years of incredible care from the amazing NHS staff all over the UK.
We’re honoured to work with you and continue finding careers that you love as much as we love you!
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