Medical historian reveals the biggest moments in history for the NHS
To mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS, medical historian Dr Nicola Tallis has scoured back through the archives to reveal the biggest moments in the institution's history.
The NHS was instrumental in the launch of the contraceptive pill in 1962 and changed the lives of millions of Brits with the launch of the Mental Health Act in 1983.
Dr Nicola Tallis said: "The NHS forms part of the fabric of our nation, and its impact on the medical history of Britain, in every area of medicine, cannot be overstated.
"There is no question that the NHS is an integral part of our society, whose services most - if not all - of the UK population have relied upon at some point in their lives.
"The fact that it is the biggest employer in Europe also reflects both its scale and its impact, and coupled with the advances in modern medicine, it continues to save, change, and improve lives."
Research of 2,000 adults, commissioned by Archvale, found 26 per cent consider the Covid-19 rollout as one of the service's biggest achievements.
It emerged one in six (15 per cent) opted for the world's first 'test tube baby' - an infant born through IVF, and 19 per cent selected the establishment of the Organ Donor Register.
Nearly two-thirds of adults (65 per cent) have used the NHS for a GP appointment while 59 per cent have used prescriptions or pharmacies.
Monumental change in healthcare
More than a tenth (12 per cent) have been in to have a sprained or twisted ligament looked at and a further 12 per cent have enjoyed a colonoscopy.
On average, respondents use an NHS service five times a year, according to the OnePoll figures.
And 31 per cent of those who have used the National Health Service even know some of their local health service staff by name.
As a result, a whopping 85 per cent of the nation believes it is one of Britain's finest achievements throughout history.
And exactly nine in 10 say that even if they don't use the NHS frequently, they feel better knowing it's there - and 88 per cent say it makes them proud to be British.
But while 35 per cent believe booking an appointment through the NHS has been easy, 37 per cent report it being difficult.
Just under three in 10 (28 per cent) have privately paid for a minor treatment or day surgery to avoid NHS waiting times.
Archvale's spokesperson said: "There have been countless reams of column inches devoted to the trials and tribulations facing the NHS.
"We wanted to take the nation's temperature regarding how much they used the service and found many still hold it dear.
"Although it's going through a difficult period at the moment, millions still rely on the NHS, and it's something the nation is rightly very proud of."
The top 10 biggest NHS breakthroughs
- 1948 - The formation of the NHS
- 1958 - The first mass-vaccination programme
- 1968 - The UK's first heart transplant
- 2020 - The Covid-199 vaccination programme is rolled out
- 1994 - The Organ Donor Register is established
- 1978 - The birth of the world's first 'test tube baby' - the first baby born through IVF
- 1988 - Free breast screening is introduced
- 1962 - The Hospital Plan for England and Wales, aka the introduction of the modern hospital
- 2008 - Vaccine to prevent cervical cancer available for all schoolgirls aged 12
- 2000 - NHS walk-in centres are opened