The key milestones achieved by the NHS include the introduction of the polio inoculation, the world’s first test-tube baby – and the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, research has found. Medical historian Dr Nicola Tallis has scoured back through the archives to reveal the biggest moments in the institution’s history, to mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS.
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 percent consider the Covid-19 vaccination rollout as one of the service’s biggest achievements.
It emerged one in six (15 percent) opted for the world’s first “test-tube baby” – an infant born through IVF – and 19 percent selected the establishment of the Organ Donor Register.
Nearly two-thirds of adults (65 percent) have used the NHS for a GP appointment, while 59 percent have used prescriptions or pharmacies.
More than a tenth (12 percent) have been in to have a sprained or twisted ligament looked at, and a further 12 percent have enjoyed a colonoscopy.
On average, respondents use an NHS service five times a year, according to the OnePoll figures.
And 31 percent 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 percent of the nation believes it is one of Britain’s finest achievements throughout history.
And exactly nine in ten say that even if they don’t use the NHS frequently, they feel better knowing it’s there – with 88 percent saying it makes them proud to be British.
But while 35 percent believe booking an appointment through the NHS has been easy, 37 percent report it being difficult.
Just under three in ten (28 percent) have privately paid for a minor treatment or day surgery, to avoid NHS waiting times.
A spokesman for Archvale 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.”
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