The NHS at 70

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NHS at 70 logo

The National Health Service turns 70 on 5 July 2018. To commemorate this anniversary, we will be exploring the relationship between the public and the NHS, and asking how the implicit ‘deal’ of rights and responsibilities between the public and the state might need to change. We will also be looking back at the history of the NHS and engaging in discussion about its future.

Exploring the relationship between the NHS and the public

We are carrying out work to explore the relationship between the NHS and the public, how it has changed over time, and what it might (or should) look like in future. We are exploring what the public think the NHS is for, whether public expectations are changing, and where the balance of responsibility for health should lie between the NHS and the individual. As part of this work, we have been holding discussion meetings with the public to understand a range of views on what ‘deal’ should be between the public and the NHS in terms of their respective rights and responsibilities.

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Our work with the BBC

The Fund is working with the BBC to support its coverage of the 70th anniversary of the NHS. Alongside the Nuffield Trust, the Health Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, we will be looking at five of the most important questions facing the NHS at 70:

  • How good is the NHS? 
  • Does the NHS need more money? 
  • Are we expecting too much from the NHS? 
  • What can be done about social care? 
  • What dilemmas will new technology pose for the NHS?

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Looking back at NHS history

Our Information and Knowledge Services team will mark the anniversary by writing a series of blogs on the different areas of health and care that the Fund has been involved with since the NHS began. We will be offering walking tours around central London relating to the history of health care and will also be hosting an event in the autumn focusing on historical perspectives of the NHS. To find out more about these activities and how you can get involved, please email