Liberal Democrats celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the NHS

Today is the 75th birthday of our much beloved, but beleaguered, NHS.

Ed Davey said:

With parents who passed away when I was young, looking after my Gran, now caring for my disabled son, throughout my life the NHS has been there. Often through really tough times and the more joyful birth of my children.

I am fiercely proud that it remains one of the most iconic services we have in the UK free to everyone.

The best birthday gift of all would be to put the NHS back on a stable footing, by increasing the number of available GP appointments, ending the long waits for ambulances, and closing the growing divide between those that can access dental care and those who can’t.

Daisy Cooper is our spokesperson for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care and she has written a longer post here. In it she says:

High-quality healthcare, free at the point of use, is essential for individual freedom and good health gives people the freedom to live the lives they choose. And that’s why as Liberals we have always championed the NHS.

We were there at its founding, and helped forge this national institution on the proposals set out in the Beveridge report in 1942.

And we’re here now still fighting for those values across the country.

The next election will give us a real chance to show the country what the Conservative’s dereliction of duty means for their health, and what our plans are to do something about it.

The Liberal Democrats are proud to be champions of the NHS and we will always fight to ensure that the care everyone receives is based on their need, not their ability to pay.

What memories can you share of the NHS?


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Michal Siewniak 6th Jul '23 - 8:05am

    **** 75 years of the NHS. Wow, what a milestone! The only global service of its kind when it was first set up. It served and treated for decades millions of people. The establishment of the NHS was a model for other countries across the world, which tried to replicate it. The NHS brought together expertise, professionalism and diversity of its incredible talented and dedicated workforce. The NHS needs us now; we need to do everything, despite various challenges, to keep it alive and find a way to ensure that it stays “fit for purpose” and sustainable. easy task? No, but we must give it a go. Too many people rely on it and too many of us will need it now or in the future.***
    Our 500,000th comment!

  • Steve Comer 6th Jul '23 - 9:02am

    A good opportunity to remind everyone how the NHS came about, ie. as a result of the ‘Beveridge Report’ published in November 1942.
    Over the years there seems to have been a campaign by Socialist historians to minimize the role of Beveridge and amplify that of Nye Bevan. This year is not only the 75th anniversary of the NHS, but the 80th anniversary of the debates on the Beveridge report in Parliament. Beveridge may have only been a Liberal MP for a short time, but he was a leading Liberal Peer for many years.
    Time to reclaim the NHS for the Liberal side of politics!

  • …we will always fight to ensure that the care everyone receives is based on their need, not their ability to pay.

    1) 1. While helping to look after a close relative at “end of life” I got to realise how the NHS operates at least in the Hampshire/Dorset borders coastal area. She went through all the tests at 89 and was initially offered cancer surgery. But delays and dithering appeared to allow the tumour to spread to the point that an Op was not considered viable.

    The GP had not been seen for 18 months and we had had not so much as a phone call from him in over 6 months. Their care co-ordinator was a 2 days a week office hours, bureaucratic post.

    After a fall in an urban area one morning, we were told 6 hours for paramedics, although they came after 3.5 hrs.

    In attempting to get pain relief at night, I was referred to the 111 service, but they were never able to provide any help out of hours and once called back at 3.30am waking the house up, to tell that they would call the GP in the morning.

    Private social care staff were unable to offer so much as an aspirin. The local hospice had told us that they would offer medical support at home, but when medical support was requested, they said their support was advisory only.

  • 2. The only medical support we could get was from the district nurse service. They would not work past 8pm and never saw the patient at the worst time, at night. Their pain relief offered was started too late and was inadequate. Nearly every time they upped doses, it was too little. I am of the opinion that they veer on the cautious side to prevent criticism of risking the acceleration of end of life, as if American legal action litigiousness had entered the country by the back door of the Common Law. The hospital prognosis had been 3-6 weeks, although she lived another 6 months.

    One visit by a district nurse appeared to be primarily to blunt my criticisms of the service on offer, which is nowhere near fit for purpose in an advanced modern country. There are too many call centres and bureaucratic advisors and too few people on the ground, with almost nothing at night. Medical staff have decided to play it too cautiously. These mistakes could be be reversed without changing the structure of the NHS, which is also under funded. The French equivalent being 22% better funded, with Germany’s being 30% more generous.

    To find that kind of extra money, tax on the wealthy would need to be more like it is in France or new taxes added on accumulated wealth/land. Alternatively, the UK would need to scale back it’s military ambitions. But Johnson just bought an extra 100 nuclear missiles that could never be used and the UK just joined AUKUS, neither with any public debate.

  • David Symonds 18th Jul '23 - 11:27am

    The NHS is the jewel in Britain’s crown. Certainly money is an issue that needs addressing for the future, along with the shortage of doctors, nurses, GP’s etc. A big concern for me is that GP’s are not NHS employees and also most of the GP practices are privately owned by GP’s. Since 1948 GP’s have been independent consultants so it is difficult to deal with them sometimes- they can be a law unto themselves and they are not generally wanting to see patients face to face. This is the weak link and many patients are ending up in A&E because they cannot see a GP and the phone triage is not always effective. The pandemic in 2020 is often being used as an excuse to not see patients, although it is accepted that some practices have shortages of GP’s thanks to the Govt. The whole system somehow needs to be reformed and joined up so that the patients come first and the capita payments given to GPs reviewed.

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