Facebook Tracking


A brief history of the NHS


by Sellick Partnership | 2 July 2018

The NHS has been at the forefront of medical advancements since its creation 70 years ago. From performing the first liver, heart and lung transplant to revolutionising the way UK citizens can access their services. Here are just a handful of milestones the NHS has had in the last 70 years.

1948 – The NHS is founded by Aneurin Bevan at Trafford General Hospital in Manchester.

1952 – Prescription charges are first introduced costing the British public one shilling per prescription.

1954 – The NHS recognises that cancer is linked to smoking and starts conducting additional research in this area.

1958 – Polio and Diphtheria vaccinations are created and given for the first time.

1961 – The contraceptive pill is introduced and made readily available for married women hailed as one of the biggest advancements in the NHS’s 70 year history.

1968 – Britain’s first successful heart transplant carried out by South African surgeon Donald Ross at the National Heart Hospital in Marylebone, London.

1972 – CT scans are introduced and transform the way medical professionals examine the body.

1978 – The world’s first ‘test tube’ baby is born in the UK paving the way for over a million more children to be born in this way to date.

1983 – The Mental Health Act 1983 is introduced, laying down provisions for the compulsory detention and treatment of people with mental health problems in England and Wales.

1986 – The first campaign to counteract Aids is launched in the UK.

1987 – Professor Sir Roy Calne and Professor John Wallwork carry out the world's first liver, heart and lung transplant at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.

1988 – Screening for breast cancer is introduced which now saves thousands of lives every year.

1991 – NHS trusts are established across the UK. NHS Trusts are organisations that serve either a geographical area or a specialised function (such as an ambulance service). In any particular location there may be several trusts involved in the different aspects of healthcare for a resident.

1994 – The NHS blood donor register is set up.

1998 – NHS Direct is launched. This service has now become one of the largest single e-health services in the world, handling more than 500,000 calls a month.

2000 – NHS walk in centres are introduced across the country designed to alleviate the strain on hospitals.

2007 – The nationwide smoking ban is introduced, banning smoking in all workplaces, on public and work transport, in pubs, clubs, membership clubs, cafes, restaurants and shopping centres in Scotland, England and Wales.

2007 – The Mental Health Act 1983 is updated making several key changes. The amended legislation extends the powers of compulsion and introduces compulsory community treatment orders, making patients’ compliance with treatment a statutory requirement.

2008 – The NHS celebrates its 60th birthday with events across the UK.

2012 – The Health and Social Care Act is introduced. It included specific duties for health bodies including the Department of Health, Public Health England, Clinical Commissioning Groups, and NHS England which require the bodies to have due regard to reducing health inequalities between the people of England. The Act also brought in changes for local authorities on public health functions.

2014 – The NHS launch their NHS 111 help line. NHS 111 is the free number to call when you have an urgent healthcare need. ... It is available across the whole of England making it easier for you to access urgent healthcare services when you need medical help fast

2016 – The ‘One You’ campaign is launched. The One You campaign encourages adults, particularly those in middle age, to take control of their health so they can enjoy significant benefits now and in later life.

2018 – The NHS celebrates its 70th birthday. Happy Birthday NHS!

All the above dates have been taken from the official timeline of the history of the NHS in England www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/thenhs/nhshistory/Pages/NHShistory1980s.aspx