We want to create a more diverse and inclusive history of the NHS than currently exists. The NHS was created in 1948 to provide free and universal access to healthcare and is a key institution of post-war British everyday life. It defines British national and international identity. It shapes the experiences of birth, life, health, sickness and death for the overwhelming majority of the public. It is the UK’s largest employer; around 1 in 35 of the current working population is an NHS employee. The lived experiences of workers, patients, volunteers and the public encapsulate a unique part of UK post-war social and health history.
We urgently need to collect stories from the first generations as they are now in their 80s and 90s. We also need to capture the experiences of many communities of patients and workers that have barely featured in NHS histories to date. This includes disabled people, experiences of mental health, workers from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, support staff, trade unions, campaigners and the thousands of volunteers who work in the NHS.