Launch of NHS
The NHS – Improving the Lives of Millions
On July 5, 1948, the NHS came into being. No one in Britain alive at the time or born since has remained untouched by an institution which has become the envy of the world.
The vision was simple – high quality healthcare, free at the point of need.
For the first time everyone in Britain had free access to a family doctor, prescription drugs, glasses or dentures.
Half a million Scots were able to have free spectacles within four months of its inception. Half a million also got free dentures in the first year.
The first year of the NHS provided the biggest single improvement in the everyday health and well being of the people of Scotland – before or since.
Nearly all doctors, dentists and opticians took part. There were 425 hospitals with 60,000 beds.
Over the last seven decades the NHS has gone from strength to strength – many conditions which were previously untreatable can now be treated, there have been huge strides in clinical diagnosis, advances in medicines, surgery and technology and immunisation and screening have reduced the incidence or prevented the development of many diseases.
At the heart of the NHS are its staff – their skill and dedication make the NHS what it is today.