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Happy 70th birthday NHS

Published: 26 June 2018

A little bit of history

It's 70 years since the National Health Service was introduced by Aneurin Bevan, the then health secretary, in 1948. Across the UK the NHS will be celebrating the achievements of one of the country's greatest institutions, including a choir concert in Guildford on 5 July.

So Surrey Matters has taken a look at some of the changes that have happened within the health sector in Surrey over those 70 years.

Surrey residents living longer

The nation's health and indeed Surrey's has improved vastly over 70 years with advancements in sanitation, vaccinations and better standards of living. In 1948 the average man in the UK lived until he was 65 compared to the average man in Surrey today living until he is 81. For women this has changed from living until 70 in 1948 to 84 years old today.

It's also hard to believe that it wasn't until the 1940s that the link between smoking and lung cancer was made. Incredibly 65% of the UK male population smoked in 1948 compared to 13.7% in Surrey today and 41% of women in the UK smoked compared to 11.3% in Surrey today.

1948 also marked the introduction of the National Assistance Act which was the framework for social care and replaced the Poor Law. So it was a landmark year for the start of changes that have led to our improved health and wellbeing.

Botleys Park Hospital

This 18th Century mansion house in Chertsey became Botleys Park Hospital in 1932 when Surrey County Council bought it as a "colony for mental defectives". Previously patients had lived in institutions belonging to the Metropolitan Asylums Board, but following the 1933 Mental Deficiency Act the County Council had to take direct responsibility for them.

During World War II parts of the hospital were used as a war hospital and it was renamed Botleys Park Emergency Hospital, which later became known as St Peter's Hospital. Following the National Health Act in 1948 ownership was transferred from Surrey County Council to the NHS. Today the main house is privately owned and is now a boutique hotel. For more history about this beautiful Surrey building visit the Lost Hospitals of London

Working in partnership today

Today social care and health services are increasingly working together in partnership to provide better support for resident's care needs. These partnerships known as Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), are made up of local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, health service providers and other local partners. There are three ICSs currently in Surrey, Frimley Health and Care, Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership and Sussex and East Surrey.

NHS70 celebrations in Surrey

Come and join the celebrations on 5 July at the Surrey Heartlands NHS70 choir event - choirs from across Surrey will be giving a choir concert at G Live in Guildford. There will be a bar and cafe. Tickets cost £5 plus a booking fee. Doors open at 6.30pm with the performance starting at 7pm. Tickets can be booked through the eventbrite website.

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