To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NHS we have produced this exclusive medal The National Health Service (NHS) celebrates its 75th Anniversary Often referred to as the jewel in the crown of our nation, the NHS has been providing free-at-point-of-use healthcare since its foundation in 1948 and has both helped and employed millions of people during its 75 years of existance. Labour’s firebrand health minister, Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan was responsible for the passing of the National Health Service Act for England and Wales - with separate legislation produced for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Bevan had been instrumental in securing some of the key aspects of the NHS that we have today. The idea of some kind of public health service had been floated since the 1920s, but it really picked up traction towards the end of the second world war. In 1943, social economist William Beveridge published a seminal report, titled “Social Insurance and Allied Services” which would lay the groundwork for the NHS, and the welfare state more broadly, to be put in place. When Clement Attlee’s Labour government won a landslide general election victory over Winston Churchill’s Conservatives in 1945, Labour took the conclusions of the Beveridge report and sought to expand on them. Bevan pushed for the welfare state to be further reaching than Beveridge has envisioned where healthcare was concerned. He insisted that the NHS would be totally free at point of use and funded entirely through income taxation, meaning the rich subsidised healthcare for poorer people.

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