Monks Park Doctors Surgery on the NHS' 70th birthday

June 29 2018
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Over the last 70 years, the NHS has transformed the health and wellbeing of the UK and is envied around the world.

On 5 July 1948, the NHS was launched by the Health Secretary of the time, Aneurin Bevan, at Park Hospital in Manchester, known now as Trafford General Hospital. It was the first time ever that healthcare was brought together under one umbrella to provide services free for patients at the point of delivery.

Since then, the NHS has delivered huge medical advances and improvements to public health, as well as investing in new medicines, genetic research, digital technologies like apps and Artificial Intelligence, meaning we can all expect to live longer, healthier lives.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the skill, dedication and compassion of NHS staff, as well as the many volunteers, charities and communities that support the service. The NHS is the UK’s largest employer, with over 1.5 million staff from all over the world and more than 350 different careers.

As a patient, there are things you can do to help the NHS and support its future:

* you can use NHS services wisely

* you can keep active and eat healthily

* you could give blood and sign up to the organ donation register

* you could sign up to NHS research programmes.

So, make sure you attend your appointment if you have one booked and if you can’t attend it, cancel or rearrange it. More than 12 million GP appointments are missed every year, costing in excess of £500 million. And almost 8 million hospital appointments are missed costing nearly £1 billion. Think of the savings that could be made if everyone either showed up or cancelled beforehand!

In 2016/17 more than 9 million people were sent home from A&E with advice which they could have got from a pharmacist or by calling 111. Make sure you’re using the right service, at the right time. Losing weight, exercising more, giving up smoking, and cutting down on alcohol are all things that would help you live a healthier and longer life, less dependent on the NHS.

Getting involved in healthcare research could help shape it for the future. Ask your doctor, nurse, midwife or other healthcare professional about whether there is a trial or study that you could take part in. You can also visit the UK Clinical Trials Gateway at https://www.ukctg.nihr.ac.uk/ to find out more.

Blood is always in high demand and giving blood saves lives. The blood you give is a lifeline in an emergency and for people who need long-term treatments. For more information about giving blood, visit https://www.blood.co.uk.

Organ donation is giving an organ to help someone who needs a transplant. So join the organ donation register by visiting https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ or ring 0300 123 23 23

If we all do what we can to look after the NHS it could be around for another 70 years!

Look after yourself, look after others, look after the NHS