The NHS was created in 1948 by Aneurin Bevan, who had a dream of providing healthcare services that would be free to those that needed them. The NHS isn't just there to care for us all when we get sick. It's played a huge part in some epic achievements, too... science and medicine breakthroughs that have changed our world!
In 1948, there were 16,864 GPs. In 2018, there are 41,817 GPs
The NHS treats more than 1.4 million patients... every 24 hours!
People now live on average at least 12 years longer than they did in 1948
The NHS is celebrating its 70th birthday this year and the people working in the NHS are heroes with SO many reasons to be proud.
Did you know?
In 1958 the structure of DNA was discovered and completely changed how disease is studied, with a much better understanding of defective genes.
In 1968 we saw the arrival of the measles vaccine. Before then, half a million children a year were affected by measles, which could be a very dangerous disease indeed!
In 1978 a little girl called Lousie Brown was born. Why was she so special? She was the world's first test-tube baby! She came into this world thanks to a brand-new IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) technique. It may sound a bit like your grandad's garden patch, but yes, the eggs that become babies are fertilised!
1986 was an amazing year that saw the world's first liver, heart and lung transplant take place at Papworth Hospital.
There are more than 50,000 people who are alive today because of organ transplants. Three cheers for the NHS Organ Donor Register set up in 1994 so that anyone who wanted to donate their organs to someone in need could do just that.
When you think of robots you think of the future. In 2007 an incredible robotic arm was used to treat patients who with tricky tickers who needed to be treated for fast or irregular heartbeats.
The NHS are still breaking ground with exciting new achievements today! In 2016, the UK's first double hand transplant took place at Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
Happy 70th birthday, NHS!
None of the amazing achievements above would be possible without the skill, dedication and compassion of people working in the NHS. We see you, NHS staff. We are thankful for the work you do.
From discovering the secrets of DNA to saving people with robots, who knows what the talented and big-hearted staff at the NHS will achieve next?
Some NHS links you might like:
- Discover the NHS Youth Forum
- Check out science, healthcare and medicine careers
- Visit the NHS health careers site
- Step into the NHS (this NHS careers site is great for young people)