Celebrating 70 Years of the NHS

Today, the country celebrates 70 years of our National Health Service, the NHS.

It launched on 5th July 1948, it's sole purpose to bring hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists under one umbrella organisation - to provide services that are free for all at the point of delivery.

Milestones in the NHS include:

1952 - Charges of one shilling introduced for prescriptions

1953 - DNA structure is revealed

1954 - The link between smoking and cancer is established

1954 - Daily hospital ward visits for children to see their parents are introduced

1954 - The Percy Comission (To review existing legislative framework) 

1958 - A programme for Polio and diphtheria vaccinations launched.

1959 - The Mental Health Act comes in

1960 - The first UK Kidney transplant

1961 - The contraceptive pill is made widely available

1972 - CT scans revolutionise the way doctors examine our bodies

1988 - Breast screening is introduced

1991 - First 57 NHS Trusts established 

1998 - NHS Direct launched

Those are just some highlights of the NHS milestones over the years. You can read more from the NHS Choices wesbite.

The NHS has grown dramatically over the past 70 years. Treatments are getting better, patients are getting better quicker and there are plenty of innovations in healthcare.

But let's not forget the tireless work of volunteers in the NHS, including those involved in hospital broadcasting. We know many of our member stations will be celebrating with events in their local areas. Hospital broadcasting and the work volunteers do for hospital broadcasting continues to grow and without you, some patients wouldn't have won prizes at their bedside, heard their song on the radio, or have someone to talk too for a while. You do make a difference, no matter how small or insignificant you think that may be, to someone it will be a big difference.

So for everyone involved in the NHS, whether you're a doctor, consultant, midwife, nurse, cleaner, administrator, porter, lab technician or volunteer, here's to another 70 years of our National Health Service.