At midnight on 5th July 1948, the National Health Service was born with the founding principal to be free at the point of use and based on clinical need rather than on a person's ability to pay. Seventy years since its formation, these core principals still hold true, although the world we now live in is a very different place to the post war era in which it was formed, and the long term sustainability of the service in its current form is questionable.
This book traces the history of our health service, from Victorian healthcare in the early 20th century, through a timeline of change to the current day, comparing the problems and illnesses of 1948 to those we face seventy years later. Politics, funding, and healthcare systems around the world are demystified and we present case studies, views and snapshots from history from people who have experienced our changing NHS.
Ellen Welch works as both an NHS GP in West London and a Cruise Ship Doctor. She has worked in various roles both within the NHS and around the world over the last ten years including work as a ski field doctor in New Zealand and an expedition medic in Tanzania. She has won awards at both the BMA and MJA annual awards for her previous publications. Her work on cruise ships in particular has given her a fresh appreciation for the NHS.