The NHS, the jewel in the crown of the British democracy, is quite simply a national treasure. Exactly 70 years ago today, this national treasure was forged.
Here at Celebrity Angels, we want to say a big ‘Happy Birthday’ to our NHS, and a huge ‘thank you’ to all of those who make it work for us!
Age-old principles never die
Our wonderful NHS is what keeps the country running and, most importantly, keeps the nation fit and healthy. An ever-present and free to-use-service, it is hard to imagine a world without it.
The NHS was created in the 1940s out of the ideal that good healthcare should be available to all regardless of wealth. When it was launched by the then-minister of health Aneurin Bevan, on July 5 1948, the NHS was based on three core principles:
- That it meet the needs of everyone;
- That it be free at the point of delivery;
- That it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay.
Today, 70 years on, these three principles have evolved and modernised into seven principles published in the NHS constitution. However, Bevan’s key tenets remain at the core of the NHS and all it does.
Seven facts for seven decades of the NHS
To mark the NHS’s very special birthday, NHS Digital has revealed some fascinating figures about the incredible work our cherished health service has carried out since its birth in the post-war era.
The figures demonstrate how the NHS has evolved since it sprang into being in 1948 as well as the changing health and lifestyles of the population.
1959—there were a total of 89,659 hospital-based nurses, midwives and health visitors in England and Wales. In 2017, there were 343,529 nurses, midwives and health visitors working in NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups in England.
1968—37 percent of the population of England and Wales were edentate (had no natural teeth) compared to six percent in 2009.
1979—23,062 GPs were working in England, of which 19,197 were male and 3,865 were female. In 2017 there were 39,843 GPs working in England, of which 21,055 were female.
1989—in 1989-90 there were 155 hospital admissions for a liver transplant, in 2016-17 this had risen to 662.
1999—In 1999, 44 percent of 11-15 year-olds had smoked at least once. In 2016, this had dropped to 19 percent.
2008—there were 35,960,539 antidepressant prescription items dispensed in the community in England. In 2017 this had risen to 67,530,375 items.
2016-17—there were 617,000 admissions in NHS hospitals where obesity was a factor. This increased by 18 percent in 2015-16.
Infographic courtesy: NHS Digital
Social media tributes
On this special day, tributes have been flooding in on social media from stars and public figures alike wanting to express their gratitude for our incredible NHS. Use the #NHS70 hashtag to add yours!