On this day (5 July) back in 1948, the National Health Service, universally referred to as the NHS, was launched at the Park Hospital in Manchester and celebrations have been taking place all over the UK to mark its 75th birthday.
It was pushed through by Aneurin Bevan, who was the Health Minister back in 1948, and it was based on three critical values, which remain to this day. They are that the services available would help everyone, the healthcare was free and that all the care would be provided was based on its need, as opposed to people’s ability to pay.
It was a bold and pioneering plan to make healthcare no longer exclusive to those who could afford it, and to make it accessible to everyone.
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh joined with 1,500 health service staff, politicians and supporters at a special ceremony held at Westminster Abbey earlier today, to pay tributes and to acknowledge both individual and team contributions.
In one of the last public engagements before her sad passing last year, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II bestowed the George Cross Medal on the NHS in recognition of everything it had provided for the country over her reign.
During the Covid-19 pandemic it really stood up and dealt remarkably in the face of the incredible odds that were stacked against it, and effectively kept the country going through the crisis, with tremendous spirit and dedication to the cause.
Nobody way back in 1948 would have been able to foresee the way in which the NHS has developed into the fantastic service it is today.