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NHS 70


Celebrating 70 years of the NHS

The National Health Service turned 70 on Thursday 5 July 2018. Now is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of one of the nation’s most loved institutions, to appreciate the vital role the service plays in our lives, and to recognise and thank the extraordinary NHS staff – the everyday heroes – who are there to guide, support and care for us, day in, day out.

There are a number of things that you can do to take part in the celebrations:

Did you know that?

  • More than 12 million GP appointments are missed every year, costing in excess of £500 million
  • Almost eight million hospital appointments are missed every year, costing nearly £1 billion
  • The choices we make matter. Everyday habits and behaviours, such as eating too much unhealthy food, drinking more than is recommended, continuing to smoke and not being active enough, are responsible for around 40 per cent of all deaths in England, and cost the NHS more than £11 billion a year.

We can all help by using NHS services responsibly. Why not give the NHS a special birthday present? Make a pledge to use NHS services wisely and encourage friends and family to do the same.

Pledge to:

  • Attend all of your NHS appointments.
  • Call NHS 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not life threatening.
  • Visit your local pharmacist for advice on minor health concerns and sign up for GP online services at your practice.
  • Be more active, such as going for a brisk walk for 10 continuous minutes a day.
  • Eat more healthily, such as adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet and reducing sugar.
  • Don’t regularly exceed 14 units of alcohol a week.
  • Always take medicines according to the instructions or as advised.
  • Only take antibiotics when they are advised by a healthcare professional.
  • Only order medicines that you need, and check what medicines you have before re-ordering.


The NHS has a critical role in treating illness and in keeping people well but, to help make the NHS sustainable for future generations, people need to be more proactive about prioritising their health and wellbeing to reduce their risk of developing lifestyle-related health conditions.

The good news is that prevention really is better than cure, and there is plenty we can all do to improve our health, starting in childhood right through into adulthood.

Click here to find out what we have done to celebrate.

Dr Amar Ahmed asks us to celebrate the NHS' 70th birthday by taking the best possible care of ourselves.

Dr Louise Hastings and practice manager Chris Campbell-Kelly urge us to get active for NHS 70.