70 Years of the NHS: The Story of Our Lives
Explore how the NHS has changed since its creation in 1948. Stories from patients, staff, volunteers and campaigners and items from our collections bring to life the development of the NHS throughout its first 70 years. Further decades will be added over the coming weeks.
Before the National Health Service (NHS)
The Second World Ward (1939) and the NHS
Before the NHS
Jean Grimes was born in 1932 in Liverpool.
Here she talks about her early childhood memories of healthcare in the 1930s. Jean later trained and worked as nurse in the NHS.
I remember my mum had to pay and I think it was about five shillings. That was a lot of money in those days
Timeline: The 1940s
Our Stories: The 1940s
The 1950s saw major nurse recruitment, junior doctor training, NHS recycling campaigns and tackling huge waiting lists for healthcare and dentistry.
The link between smoking and its effects on health was also established. Around 80% of British adults smoked.
Timeline: The 1950s
Our Stories: The 1950s