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NHS 70th celebrations under way

Thursday July 5th, 2018

The UK was preparing to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS today – with continuing controversy about its achievements.

Today dozens of buildings will be lit blue to mark the anniversary. These include York Minster the Blackpool Tower, the London Eye and Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

Yesterday ten winners of NHS Birthday Awards were announced.

They include Professor Shafi Ahmed, a colorectal surgeon at Barts Health. He is reputed to be the most watched surgeon in human history as he uses Google Glass and other gadgets to teach students around the world.

An attempt yesterday to set a world record for choral singing failed as choirs throughout the country joined the singing of “A Little Help from My Friends.”

The song, recorded by the NHS Choir, is being released tomorrow in the hope it will top the charts for the anniversary.

Thousands of people took part in yesterday’s singing but failed to break the record of 6,904.

But the campaign group Keep Our NHS Public said the NHS was “in crisis” for its birthday.

It cited a new analysis suggesting that England and Wales suffered 20,000 excess deaths in the first 16 weeks of the year – linking this to the crisis in emergency care.

Dr Aislinn Macklin-Doherty, secretary of Health Campaigns Together, said: “It is quite poignant that on the 70th anniversary of the creation of so many socialised services, including the NHS, in times of real austerity, post WW2, that we once again have to make it clear that we demand that the health of the nation is an urgent priority.”

A poll conducted by the NHS Confederation found that 84% of people would pay more tax if the level of service provided by the NHS “improved a great deal.”

The proportion fell to 61% when asked to pay more tax to keep the service at current levels. More than 1,000 people took part in the study by pollsters Ipsos Mori.

* Analysis by NHS Digital highlights some of the progress made by the NHS in 70 years.

In 1979 there were just 3,865 women GPs in England out of a workforce of more than 23,000. More than half of GPs are now female.

In 1989 there were 155 hospital admissions for liver transplants. Last year this reach 6,62.

In 1968 37% of the English population had no teeth, the analysis shows. This is now 6%.

Tags: NHS | UK News

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