NHS 70

On July 5 2018, the NHS was 70. This represents a magnificent seven decades of providing lifelong care.

Cutting the NHS70 Birthday cake at the Doncaster NHS70 celebration (Picture: RDaSH)


In Doncaster we celebrated this special Birthday with a NHS70 Marquee at the Flourish Enterprise’s free family-friendly ‘Summer Fayre’,which took place on Sunday 8 July, from 11am-4pm at the RDaSH site, Woodfield Park, off Tickhill Road, Balby, Doncaster DN4 8QP.

This was a joint event with the three health trusts and our partners in health and care across Doncaster, from all sectors.

The NHS is one of the largest employers in the area and we have hundreds of different jobs and career opportunities. There are hundreds of different opportunities, including clinical and non-clinical paid roles and volunteering positions across Doncaster and our aim is to ‘grow our own’ health and care professionals of the future.

We had over 30 stalls and interactive displays and demonstrations,  including free bike safety checks and lots of family-friendly activities including:

  • smoothie-bike
  • face painting
  • Giant ‘operation’ and ‘wrecking ball’ games
  • Paint your own NHS hat
  • Make the best hospital bed ‘corner’ (timed competition)
  • Weldricks Pharmacy stall: artefacts and free samples
  • music
  • 5 a-side football competition
  • refreshments

The winning football team from Doncaster’s Seventh Day Adventist Church with Rosie Winterton MP and the Doncaster NHS70 Trophy  (Picture: RDaSH)


The Launch of the NHS – Historic Re-enactment in Edlington

On the morning of Sunday 8 July at 9am, we will be re-creating the scene which took place in Edlington 70 years ago when the NHS was created:

On 5 July, 1948 the band from Edlington Colliery marched to the village doctor’s surgery and began to play. The doctor hung out a Union Jack and handed drinks to the assembled bandsmen and women and onlookers. The NHS had arrived.

This is a well documented account of what happened at Edlington on the day the NHS was born. Our aim on Sunday 8 July, 2018 is to re-enact that event – with a little bit of licence – 70 years on.

The colliery and its band have long gone but there are still strong mining links in the village and the colliery’s NUM banner hangs in the Martinwells Centre – the modern day equivalent of the 1948 doctor’s surgery.

We are going to assemble at 9am at the Hilltop Centre, Edlington and march down to the Martinwells Centre, accompanied by the Sheffield Pipe Band, with the colliery banner. There will be rolling road closures as the march processes from the Hilltop Centre to the Martinwells Centre, where we will be met by local GPs and civic dignitaries and pupils from Sir Thomas Wharton College will perform readings, before moving to the Summer Fayre at Tickhill Road.

Members of the public and local community groups are very welcome to join us on this special, commemorative march, celebrating the 70th Birthday of the NHS in Doncaster. Further details are available in this poster here

The City of Sheffield Pipe Band

Update on the event here: Edlington NHS 70 and the full itinerary is here:


In this next section we’ll feature interesting information relating to the national celebrations that are taking place in 2018.

NHS history

On 5 July 1948, the NHS was launched by the then Health Secretary, Aneurin Bevan, at Park Hospital in Manchester (known today as Trafford General Hospital).

For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella to provide services for free at the point of delivery.

The last 70 years

Over the last 70 years, the NHS has transformed the health and wellbeing of the nation and become the envy of the world.

The NHS has delivered huge medical advances and improvements to public health, meaning we can all expect to live longer lives.

It is thanks to the NHS that we have all but eradicated diseases such as polio and diphtheria, and pioneered new treatments like the world’s first liver, heart and lung transplant.

In more recent times, we have seen innovations like mechanical thrombectomy to improve stroke survival, bionic eyes to restore sight, and surgical breakthroughs such as hand transplants.

The NHS Choices website includes an overview of the milestones of the NHS in England from its launch in 1948 to the present day.

In addition, the Nuffield Trust has produced an interactive timeline which charts the evolution of the NHS from its inception in the post-war years through to today.


As well as celebrating the NHS’s 70th birthday, 2018 also marks the 70th anniversary of the Empire Windrush arriving at Tilbury Docks, London. Many of the passengers took up roles in the NHS, which launched two weeks later.

Watch this short video which shows some of the highlights of the NHS over the last 70 years