The National Health Service (NHS) has served as the backbone of UK society for more than 70 years. This fantastic institution has helped to guarantee the good health of British citizens since 1946, when Aneurin Bevan was first granted royal assent for his scheme.
Since the early days, a great deal has changed. Every decade has brought with it new challenges and triumphs for the NHS—which it has met in stride.
With things kicking off in the late 1940s (the NHS officially came into being in 1948), it wouldn’t take long for a monumental scientific shift to change the way in which we viewed the medical landscape forever.
The discovery of DNA in 1953 opened the world’s eyes on a scientific front, while the introduction of the contraceptive pill in 1961 brought in a new wave of thinking when it came to both medical capabilities and women’s rights.
The 70s would be just as impactful, with the pre-existing three-part system of the NHS reduced down to two in 1974, and the first ever test tube baby born in 1978. With the introduction of routine breast scans (1988), an organ donor register (1994), and even a robotic arm being used for surgery (2007), the NHS has continued to evolve throughout the years.
For an in-depth look at how the service has changed over time, as well as all the key points along that path, check out the amazing infographic from Premier Patient Line provided below, detailing the history of the NHS: