The NHS at 73
5 July 2021 marks the 73nd anniversary of the NHS. Over the past year, NHS staff have continued to care for thousands of patients suffering from Covid-19 as well as delivered the largest vaccination programme in history. This year many ‘Thank You’ events are taking place across the UK as we slowly come out of lockdown. Her Majesty The Queen has awarded the George Cross to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom in recognition of 73 years of dedicated service by NHS staff and their courage in responding to the pandemic.
I think people sort of noticed that when things go wrong it’s hospital workers that still have to keep going into work every day and no matter what happens. And that will be the same in any disaster and in any crisis, you know?
Adam Middleton, NHS Porter, Ulster.
I thought I knew all about the NHS, having worked in it for 30 years, but [covid] really has changed everything.
Rupert Pearse, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, London
Listen to Ami talk about going into the ‘hurt locker’ to have difficult conversations with families. She reflects that as a clinician, she has to pick herself up afterwards to go and care for the next group of patients.
So when the pandemic started, I kept thinking back to these people that would be in the intensive care unit, which would probably be hit the hardest. And these people had faces, they had names... I just kept thinking, I wonder if they’re going to be ok
Claire Goodwin-Fee, Psychotherapist and founder of Frontline-19
The NHS has always known that there is inequality of outcome within the services that it offers... And when governments say the pandemic has shone a light on something I don’t accept that, I think that actually we’ve always known it’s there.
Patricia Millar, Chief Executive, Dorset County Hospital
Listen to Roy discuss the similarities in experience of working as a GP during both the early HIV crisis in Edinburgh and Covid-19.
Based at The University of Manchester, NHS Voices of Covid-19 is a UK wide research programme developing a national collection of personal testimonies around Covid-19 funded by the AHRC through the UKRI Covid-19 urgency fund and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
These testimonies will be preserved at the British Library as a permanent public resource for informing policy and practice.
This builds on the NHS at 70 project which collected upwards of 1000 interviews between October 2017 and March 2020.Since March 2020 we have recorded an additional 900 interviews focusing on their experiences of Covid-19 and the NHS.
Our collection is inclusive of patients, staff, policymakers and the public - it represents the place of the NHS in everyday life and work in the UK.
Thank you to all our volunteers, stakeholders and interviewees who generously contribute their time and experiences to make our work possible.