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Kare Plus Celebrates 70 years of the NHS

Friday, June 29th, 2018 | Blog

As the NHS is 70 years old on the 5th of July we thought we would take the opportunity to look back at the achievements it’s made over the past seven decades.

July 5th 1948 – The NHS is born

Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan formally launches the NHS, providing free healthcare services to all at the point of delivery.

1953 – DNA’s structure discovered

The structure of DNA is discovered, revolutionising the study of diseases caused by genetics.

1958 – Polio and diphtheria vaccines introduced

The introduction of the polio and diphtheria vaccines is a key part of NHS plans. Before this introduction, cases of polio could climb as high as 8,000 and diphtheria as high as 70,000 cases. The programme ensures everyone under the age of 15 is vaccinated and lead to the immediate and dramatic reduction in the cases of both diseases.

1959 – Mental Health Act introduced

The Mental Health Act is introduced, meaning for the first time in British history, community care should be prioritised for mental health patients and anyone with a mental health illness should not be treated any differently from any other patient.

1968 – Measles vaccine introduced

The first measles vaccine is introduced. 500,000 children per year caught the disease before it was introduced, from the 1st of January to the 9th of May 2018, 440 cases were reported in England (University of Oxford)

1978 – World’s first test tube baby is born

The world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown is born at Oldham General Hospital on July 25th 1978. The technique, in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) was developed by Dr Patrick Steptoe and Dr Robert Edwards.

1986 – World’s first liver, heart and lung transplant

The world’s first liver, heart and lung transplant is carried out at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.

1988 – Breast screening is introduced

With aims to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in women over the age of 50, breast screening units are introduced around the country providing free mammograms.

1994 – The NHS Organ Donor Register is introduced

The NHS Organ Donor Register is set up for people who wish to donate their organs. There are more than 50,000 people alive today thanks to organ transplants (NHS Organ Donation).

2006 – Bowel cancer screening programme launched

The world’s first bowel cancer screening programme is launched for men and women aged over 60 years.

2007 – Robotic arm is used in ground-breaking operations

A revolutionary robotic arm is used at St Mary’s Hospital, London to treat patients with fast or irregular heartbeats.

2016 – UK’s first double hand transplant

The UK’s first double hand transplant is carried out at Leeds Teaching Hospital.

2018 – The NHS turns 70

The NHS celebrates its 70th birthday on July 5th 2018. Visit the NHS 70 website to learn more and find out how you can get involved.

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