The NHS at 65

The NHS was launched on July 5 1948. Over the 65 years since then it has continually grown, evolved and improved to become a source of national pride and a service envied around the world.

Check out our interactive timeline to see how the NHS has evolved in the years since 1948.

As the NHS passes its 65th anniversary it is undergoing the biggest organisational change in its history, with much of its budget now in the hands of GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups. But the high-quality service for patients continues uninterrupted and the NHS continues to develop and innovate.

The NHS is pushing at the boundaries of science – bringing together world-renowned experts to harness their knowledge and skills to save lives and improve treatments.

It offers help and hope in times of greatest need – when care and compassion are what matter most.

Across England, NHS staff, patients and the public, local government, charities, businesses and others are working together to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.

To mark the anniversary, we've talked to people across the country to highlight some of the work that the health service and its partners are doing to keep England healthy.

In this series of articles we highlight:

  • Stories of patients, the public and health champions
  • examples of how the health and wellbeing of local communities are being improved
  • partnerships between the NHS and other organisations – creating 'integrated' health and care
  • examples of the values, innovation and contribution of NHS staff and volunteers

From pioneering new services, such as Patients Know Best, which puts people with particular conditions in charge of their medical records, to the many staff and teams involved in the care of a newborn with a congenital heart problem, and to Whizz-Kidz, the charity putting disabled children in the driving seat – these, and other examples like them, offer vital help and life-changing support to people in England’s diverse and flourishing health and care system.

NHS care can’t be perfect all the time. But the service is committed to putting patients first and working to give everyone greater control of their health and wellbeing so they can live longer, healthier lives.

For updates on the NHS at 65, follow #NHS65 on Twitter.

Page last reviewed: 01/07/2013

Next review due: 01/07/2015


How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 11 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating


The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Angel Robert said on 19 February 2015

At the age of 65, many people started feeling the problems in their bones particularly of the knee, shoulder and back.

Report this content as offensive or unsuitable

Find services near you

The NHS at 65

Marking 65 years of the National Health Service, we look to what's being done for health now and how services are shaping our future health

Your NHS rights

Knowing your rights will help you get the most from the NHS. Find out what you can and should expect from the NHS

The history of patient choice

The history of patient choice

Explore the history of patient choice in the NHS since 1948 with this interactive timeline.