Nurse Study group – Credit Queens Nursing Institute

The birth of the NHS back in 1948 was a watershed moment in the nation’s history and over the past 70 years it has become an integral part of the national character and, in many ways, a reflection of society.

Nurses and midwives have provided the bedrock of the NHS from the very start and as the world has changed and healthcare has transformed with it, we have grown as professionals and embraced the challenge by becoming some of the most advanced, skilled and admired nurses and midwives in the world.

Since the very beginning and still now, nurses and midwives have made a positive difference to people’s lives and I want to thank everyone involved over the last 70 years, in whatever role you did or do.

We are also celebrating the vital contribution that nurses working in social care have  made over the last 70 years.  In the past and significantly today, they play an integral role in the teams that support people in later years and with a range of complex needs.

Public health has of course changed since the birth of the NHS as we seek to find solutions to complex challenges including antimicrobial resistance, obesity, physical inactivity and mental stress and ill health. Universal health coverage remains a global health ambition and we must not forget how very fortunate we are to have health care free at the point of care for all. We need to build a culture for health in our society, setting the conditions and enabling people to make the best choices to prevent avoidable illness, protect their health and improve their wellbeing and resilience. A healthier nation is happier, fairer and more productive and supports the sustainability of the NHS.

Those working in the NHS interact with and inspire every part of our society with their expertise and professionalism. Through  many millions of daily contacts we use this position of trust to advise, support and motivate those individuals and communities we care for to enable them to make the best choices for their own health and wellbeing.  It is through this that our health service can demonstrate the importance of prevention as well as provide the highest quality of treatment and care.

From cradle to grave

The NHS reaches people ‘from cradle to grave’ and throughout the lifespan we can make a big difference. If we can ensure our children get the best start in life, from a healthy pregnancy for the mother to the child being ready to learn, ready for school and ready for adulthood, we give everyone a greater chance at fulfilling their full life potential.

Community Midwife – Credit Queens Nursing Institute

We can ensure adults have the best evidence-based information and support to hand so they can make good lifestyle choices for themselves and their families. We can help people invest in themselves early in life to make their later years healthier and happier, reducing the risk of dementia or stroke and promoting prevention  in older age in areas such as falls,  enabling people to live independently for longer.

It is often said that ‘prevention is better than  cure’ and, with the right support, such as  resources like All Our Health and Health Matters , I am confident health and care professionals everywhere can overcome our generation’s challenges, taking inspiration from those who came before us in the NHS and inspiring those who are to follow.

Happy 70th Anniversary NHS. Our gratitude goes to all who work and have worked to deliver the service of which we are so proud.



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