top of page

Celebrating the NHS's 76th Birthday: A Look Back and Forward for Mildmay Hospital

A homemade banner that reads 'Happy Birthday NHS'

Today is the 76th birthday of the National Health Service, and at Mildmay Hospital, we are celebrating!

Mildmay's Journey with the NHS

Founded in 1948, the NHS has provided vital healthcare to countless individuals across the UK, and Mildmay has been proud to have been a part of its history since the very beginning.

  • After over 55 years as an independent voluntary hospital, in 1948, Mildmay became part of the NHS, continuing its legacy of service and training within the broader healthcare system.

  • It was incorporated into the National Health Service as part of the North East Metropolitan Regional Board's Central (No. 5) Group of Hospitals and transferred in 1966 to the East London Group. In 1974 it became part of the Tower Hamlets Health District.

  • Mildmay has continued to serve the NHS since it became an independent charitable hospital once again in 1985. In addition to our acclaimed work with HIV/AIDS, providing a haven for the LGBTQI+ community, (for which Transport for London has designated a London Overground line in our name), we provide additional specialist care to anyone who is referred to us from within the NHS. For example, in 2022, we launched our unique REBUILD Pathway, which provides safe and effective inpatient post-detoxification, recovery-focused care for people who are homeless and are at risk of returning to the streets. Patients on this pathway are admitted to Mildmay after being stepped down from acute centres such as Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospital.

  • Looking to the future, we continue to develop collaborative care pathways with the NHS, particularly in the field of mental health and neurorehabilitation.

VIntage page from 1948 explaining what the NHS is

The NHS is incredibly special, particularly due to its core principle of universality:

  • Free at the point of use: Unlike many healthcare systems, the NHS provides care based on need, not the ability to pay. This ensures everyone receives necessary medical attention regardless of income. People with serious illnesses or ongoing medical needs would otherwise be financially burdened by healthcare costs. This peace of mind allows individuals to focus on recovery.

  • Universality: The NHS covers the entire UK population, offering the same level of basic care to everyone, regardless of social status or background. This fosters a sense of fairness and social solidarity. This promotes a more equitable society.

  • A long history of success: Over 76 years, the NHS has delivered high-quality care and improved public health in the UK. It's a source of national pride and a cornerstone of British society.

  • Focus on preventative care: The NHS emphasises preventative measures alongside treatment, aiming to keep people healthy and reduce long-term costs. This helps maintain a healthier population overall, reducing long-term strains on the system.

  • Innovation and research: The NHS is a leader in medical research and development, contributing significantly to advancements in healthcare globally.

It's important to note that the NHS faces some very difficult challenges, such as funding pressures and an ageing population. However, its core principles of universality and free care at the point of use remain highly valued by the British public, and we look forward with hope to the next 76 years!




bottom of page