We were delighted to invite staff, partners and members of the public to Richmond Adult Community College yesterday to learn about our plans for local healthcare at our annual general meeting – 70 years to the day since the NHS was officially launched.
On 5 July 1948, the birth of the National Health Service rang in a new era of universal healthcare, free at the point of service. It was in the same month that the Olympic Games returned to London and England experienced a summer of record-breaking heatwaves.
The new service was expected to cost £152 million a year, a princely sum at a time of austerity following World War II, but a figure which has since increased dramatically to just over £125 billion as advances in technology, medication and clinical techniques have helped the nation to live longer, healthier lives.
In temperatures which mirrored the sweltering heat 70 years earlier, AGM attendees were invited to visit our interactive health fair packed with information, advice and the opportunity to have blood pressure and other health checks.
Guests also watched presentations about the work we’ve been doing in our local communities, including innovations in IV therapy, an award-winning wound care app and changes to urgent treatment at Teddington Memorial Hospital.
A closing film about nursing staff at HRCH underlined the important message that despite 70 years of change, the founding principles of equality, professionalism and compassion are as strong as ever.