Celebrating 70 years of the NHS

 Ellen Hudson 5 Jul 2018

It's hard to imagine life without the NHS, says Ellen Hudson as the health service celebrates it's 70th birthday.

It’s hard to imagine that 70 years ago an advert appeared in Scottish newspapers promoting the new health service. Now, it’s hard to imagine life without it! 

The NHS has changed significantly in its 70 years, but one thing that has never changed is the difference that nursing teams make to people’s health and wellbeing. 

Nurses today are likely to be educated to degree level, have access to digital technology and medical advancements, but the care and compassion they have is the same as their counterparts in 1948. 

People are living longer, but are increasingly likely to be living with multiple long term conditions, frailty and complex care needs as they age. The role of nursing in assessing, planning and giving care is evolving to respond to public health challenges. 

The delivery of our NHS is dependent on effective multi-disciplinary teams with nurses being at the heart of this, whether it is in our hospitals, GP practices, prisons or schools. 

To show our appreciation for the NHS, we asked staff and members to pen their anniversary messages.

Stuart McLauchlan, REAS Lead & RCN Lead Steward, said: “50 years ago the NHS quite literally saved my life. I had a hole in the heart and the procedure was with risk in those days. 22 years later I started my nurse training and have loved every minute of it. Happy Birthday NHS and here’s to the next 70.”
Jen Oakes, Modern Apprentice at RCN Scotland, said: “Thank you to the amazing staff who work for the NHS for looking after myself and others over the last 70 years! Here’s to 70 more years of care and compassion.”

Jules Lambeth, Maternity Theatre Nurse and RCN Steward, said: “I wish our NHS a happy & healthy future for patients and staff. It’s the staff that make the NHS. We should be proud and never give up hope, we can all & do make a difference.” #lovetonurse

Stewart Donnelly, RCN Scotland Chair of Board, said: “Happy birthday to the NHS that has looked after 1000’s of patients and given opportunities to 1000’s of nurses. There can’t be anyone in Scotland who has not been in contact with our NHS at some point. Let’s look forward to another 70 successful years for the best health service in the world.”

Craig Davidson, Student Nurse and RCN Committee member, said: “Happy 70th birthday to our NHS. Having just returned from an educational trip to California, it has reinforced my pride to be from a country that provides free healthcare to all at the point of service. We know it needs to evolve to cope with growing demands and it will.”

The NHS’s strongest asset has always been its staff. We owe a debt of gratitude to all the NHS staff over the years who have shaped the future for today’s nursing workforce. Today is an opportunity to celebrate the NHS’s proud history and look to the future.  

Ellen Hudson, Associate Director, RCN Scotland

Ellen Hudson

Associate Director, RCN Scotland

Ellen Hudson is Associate Director (Professional Practice), RCN Scotland.

Page last updated - 05/09/2018