On 5th July the National Health Service turned 68 years old. The health secretary at the time, Aneurin Bevan, launched the NHS at Park Hospital in Manchester (now Trafford General Hospital). This brought together hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists under one umbrella organisation to providing services free for all at the point of delivery.
Despite growing concerns, a survey in 2014 by the Commonwealth Fund ranked the NHS as 'best system in terms of efficiency, effective car, safe care, coordinated care, patient-centered care and cost related problems'. The NHS is still constantly undergoing change as you can see in the NHS Constitution
duty of candour
end of life care
staff rights, responsibilities and commitments
dignity, respect and compassion
Many of us today are grateful to the NHS and wish it a long and healthy life. Nothing brought this home to me more than the art installation at the British Museum 'Cradle to the Grave' by:
The installation is a two 13 meter long display which tells the story of the health of eight individuals by a pill 'diary', objects and documents, and personal photographs and demonstrates the average consumption of over 14,000 drugs an estimation of what the average person is prescribed in Britain in their lifetime.