NHS75 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the National Health Service (NHS) on 5th July 1948. The NHS was the first free-at-the-point-of-delivery universal health-care system. The NHS has touched many of us throughout our lives, and it treats over a million patients in England every day. This anniversary allows us to reflect on the NHS's history and achievements over the last 75 years.
Since its inception in 1948, the NHS has achieved a number of world firsts in medicine, including the birth of the world's first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, through IVF in 1978. In 1987, the world's first heart, lung, and liver transplant was performed at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, and in 1988, the world's first free breast screening programme was implemented to cut cancer deaths in women aged 50 and over.
The NHS also provided groundbreaking nationwide immunisation programmes for polio in 1956 and whooping cough in 1957, with instances of whooping cough falling to nearly zero by 1973 because of the immunisation programme. Polio and diphtheria vaccinations were introduced in 1958, and in 1999, the UK becomes the first country in the world to employ a vaccine against Group C meningococcal disease, and in 2008, a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer (HPV) became accessible to all schoolgirls aged 12 years old.
The NHS faced one of its most significant challenges in recent history in 2020: a global pandemic. The NHS workforce worked tirelessly and relentlessly to save lives. What was achieved by the NHS during this time was nothing short of incredible. From the initial response to the vaccine programme, every part of the NHS pulled together to make it happen.
Push Doctor is proud to have supported the NHS with our services throughout the pandemic, allowing patients to continue to see a GP via video consultation and providing much needed demand relief to those on the front line. In 2020, 68% of patients were seen on the same day, with more than half of those patients seen within four hours.
Push Doctor is the NHS’s longest serving digital partner providing clinical capacity and improved access for patients ensuring shorter waiting times. Because our technology assists the NHS in managing demand and easing patient backlogs, GPs can focus and spend time on patients who need face-to-face care helping to ease the pressure on the NHS at a time of unprecedented demand.
The 75th anniversary of the NHS provides an opportunity to appreciate and celebrate an institution that the British people value, and we wish the NHS a very happy birthday.