Happy Birthday National Health Service

2020 marks 72 years of the NHS, our amazing health service that will help you based on your need, and not on your ability to fund treatment. It’s a given that we need to protect this service at all costs, but it’s important to look after our medical professionals too, without whom the whole system would have crumbled years ago.

In celebration of 72 years, here are some facts about the NHS:

  • The NHS was first launched at Park Hospital in Manchester, 5th July 1948.

  • The first patient to be treated under the NHS was a 13-year-old girl called Sylvia Diggery (nee Beckingham, who arrived at Park Hospital with a liver condition.

  • In 1959, The Mental Health Act was introduced.

  • In 1968, on 3rd May, the first heart transplant in the UK took place at the National Heart Hospital in Marylebone, London.

  • In 1972, CT scans revolutionise the way doctors examine the body.

  • In 1978, the world’s first baby is born as a result of in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

  • In 1979 the first successful bone marrow transplant on a child takes place.

  • In the 1980s, MRI scans are introduced.

  • In 1987, the world’s first liver, heart and lung transplant is carried out at Papworth Hospital, London.

  • In 1988, breast screening is introduced for women over the age of 50.

  • In 1991, the first wave of new NHS trusts are established.

  • In 1994, the NHS Organ Donor Register is launched.

  • In 1998, NHS Direct is launched becoming one of the largest single e-health services in the world, handling more than half a million calls each month.

  • In 2000, NHS Walk In Centres are introduced offering convenient access to a range of NHS services.

  • In 2002, Primary Care Trusts were launched, overseeing 37,000 GPs, 21,000 dentists and controlling 80% of the NHS budget.

  • In 2002, the 4-hour target to ensure no patient spends more than 4 hours in an A&E department from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge, is introduced.

  • In 2004, Foundation trusts were introduced.

  • On 1st April 2008, free choice was introduced to patients.

  • In 2013, the NHS111 service became available.

  • In 2018, the 70th anniversary of the NHS, the budget was £126billion, compared to the 1948 budget of £437million.

  • The NHS deals with over 1 million patients every 36 hours.

  • The NHS is the fifth largest employer in the world, behind McDonald’s, Walmart the US Department of Defence and China’s People’s Liberation Army.

NHS facts provide by Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital at: https://www.lhch.nhs.uk/media/5967/nhs70-facts.pdf