70 years ago, on the 5th July 1948, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians, dentists and hospitals all came together under one UK-wide organisation, the National Health Service for the first time.
At SkinHD we have a close relationship with the NHS as Helena and Sara have 21 years combined experience of working for the National Health Service; Helena started training in 2004 and worked from 2007 as a Community Opiate Detox Nurse before going on to be a Nurse Prescriber; and Sara started training in 2011 and qualified to become a Midwife in 2015.
The Birth of a Brand New Healthcare System 1948
The Birthplace of the NHS was in our very own Manchester, just round the corner from our clinic at Park Hospital (now known as Trafford General Hospital) which was the very first NHS hospital.
70 years ago today, it was visited by the then health secretary, Aneurin Bevan, who is famously known as the ‘Father of the NHS’.
He launched the healthcare service with the clear and central philosophy of providing a health service available to all, financed entirely from taxation – meaning that people pay into it according to their needs.
Bevan was determined the NHS should ‘universalise the best care’ and not simply act as a safety net for the poor who couldn’t afford private healthcare; providing excellent healthcare regardless of wealth.
Free at the point of use, it was the dawn of a new era for healthcare. Prior to this people in the UK had to pay for treatment – pushing many families into debt, or they had to rely on charity or simply not be treated for their ailments. This was a game changer for the general wellbeing of the public. The life expectancy rose after its introduction from 65.8 years for men and 70.1 for women in 1948 to 71 for men and 77 for women in 1979.
The system was the first of its kind in the world, and is still envied by countries across the globe.
Throughout the ages the NHS has seen a huge change in medicine; from the first vaccination programmes; to the massive scientific breakthrough of discovering the molecular structure of DNA; the causal link between smoking and lung cancer; to the creation of diagnostic machines including MRI and CT scans which has revolutionised the way doctors examine patients and treat illnesses.
We are privileged and incredibly lucky to have such an amazing service provided to us for as little as we do in the way of national insurance contributions. All of us at SkinHD want to say thank you NHS for the vital role that you play in all of our lives and to thank the extraordinary staff that are the backbone of the nation’s best loved institution for the support and care you provide – day in, day out. Happy 70th Birthday, and here’s to many many more!