The 5 July 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service. A fantastic opportunity to celebrate the amazing achievements and the vital role that the service plays in our lives. It is also a great time to think about and to thank the dedicated staff, the “everyday heroes” who work so hard to guide, support and care for us every day.
The early years
Back in 1948 when the health secretary Aneurin Bevan launched the NHS at Park Hospital in Manchester, it was part of an extremely ambitious plan to bring good healthcare to all. For the very first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together to provide free services. Read more about the history of the NHS here.
The RCN are joining in
Here at the RCN, we’re holding an NHSBig7Tea on Thursday 5 July. Drop in to our library at Cavendish Square any time from 2-4pm for tea, games and a chance to view our collections. On Friday 6 July, the RCN Foundation are celebrating the contribution of nurses to the NHS with a charity walk. In partnership with VINTAGE publishers and Christie Watson, author of ‘The Language of Kindness’, participants will walk 10,000 steps – the average number a nurse walks in each shift. For more information and to sign up, visit: http://www.rcnfoundation.org.uk/
How you can get involved
This milestone anniversary is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved. There are lots of opportunities to develop youth volunteering, there are social action opportunities and ways that organisations can pledge their support too. You could even join in the “Donate 1,000 miles” campaign by logging your own miles be it walking, running, swimming, horse riding, buggy pushing over the next year as a collective birthday gift to the NHS, anything counts #NHS1000miles. Find out more about the exciting ways you can join in and GET INVOLVED.
Did you know?
ITN productions and the NHS are partnering to produce a news and current affairs programme which celebrates 70 years of NHS. It will be exploring the advances in science, technology and information that will help NHS organisations going forward and that will shape the NHS for the future. Presented by Natasha Kaplinsky, the news-style piece will be a mixture of interviews, reports and sponsored editorial profiles. See the full details here.
Have you got a story to tell?
The NHS at 70 are collecting stories and memorabilia from patients, workers, volunteers and the public. A project funded by the “Wellcome Trust” whereby a team from the University of Warwick are producing some amazing work on the history of this subject. They are looking to answer questions about how the meaning of the NHS has changed, how it has been perceived by staff, has it changed British identity and so much more. If you have a story to tell or a memory to share then get in touch to find out more.
There is a whole wealth of information available on the NHS at 70 website. So many ways to get involved, find out more and celebrate the extraordinary service offered by the NHS during the last 70 years and into the future too.
Join the celebration and the conversation #NHS70
Images below courtesy of RCN Library and Archive Service. Follow to find out more @RCNLibraries
Our Health Service (Nursing Times, July 3, 1948)
Society of Medical Officers of Health: A National Health Service (1942)
Liberal Party: Health for the People - Proposals for a Positive and Active Health Policy for the Nation (1942)
A.J. Cronin: The Citadel (1937)
Dawson Report (1920)
British Medical Association: A General Medical Service for the Nation (1938)