The NHS was founded on 5 July 1948 as the world's first universal, free at the point of use health system.
Seventy-five years later, those principles remain just as relevant today as the NHS continues to innovate and adapt to meet the needs of new generations, always putting patients at the heart of everything it does.
From the midwives who help bring us into the world, the GPs and pharmacists who are our first port of call when we are sick, the nurses, doctors and other clinicians who care for us in our time of need, the porters and cleaners who keep our hospitals moving, and the hundreds of thousands of dedicated colleagues and volunteers in between – our people are the driving force in helping us do this.
We're counting down the 75 days to the birthday of NHS. You'll read inspiring stories from patients and staff, see news and pictures from the archives, and have the opportunity to join in competitions.
We hope you'll get involved too, sharing your memories and stories of what the NHS means to you.
Tell us your NHS story
Share with us your memories of working for your local NHS, your family connections or care that changed your life.
Show your support for our hospital Trust's charity, ELHT&Me.
Here are just some of the ways NHS 75 is being celebrated and how you can join in...
Buildings will be showing support for NHS
To help mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS, buildings, historic monuments and other high profile sites across the country will be ‘lighting up’ blue on the evening of 5 July.
For the NHS’s anniversary two years ago, more than 70 landmarks around the country lit up blue, including Wembley Arch, Liverpool’s Liver building, Blackpool Illuminations Arches, Waterloo Station Clock, Nottingham Castle, the London Eye along with a host of civic centres, hospitals and sports stadiums.
This year Blackburn and Burnley Hospital will light up blue, thanks to support from Equans, and Blackburn Council will be lighting up King George's Hall and Wainwright Bridge and Ribble Valley Borough Council will light up Clitheroe Castle.
People are encouraged to take photos and share them via social media using the hashtags: #NHS75 and #LightUpBlue
Join in the activities for NHS 75
People across the UK are being invited to celebrate 75 years of the NHS this summer – and raise funds for NHS charities by hosting their own NHS Big Tea party.
Whether you get together at home, in the office, at your community centre or even in your school, you can celebrate on the 75th birthday of the NHS – Wednesday 5 July – or any day that week.
Thousands of NHS Big Tea parties are expected to take place across the country, with gallons of tea expected to flow, miles of bunting to fly and cakes galore (eaten in moderation, of course!).
There are so many ways to raise money whilst getting together with friends; collect donations in return for tea, cake and good company, run a baking competition, play a game of guess the number of tea bags in the jar, or you could even get creative and host a quiz. The possibili-teas are endless!
Hosting an NHS Big Tea is a great way to bring communities together around a shared love of the NHS whilst raising money to support NHS staff, volunteers and patients.
A key focus area for NHS charities is supporting NHS staff and volunteers – the beating heart of our health service who often put their patients need before their own. We all know the last few years have been particularly challenging, with NHS staff and volunteers responding to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
With your support, NHS charities can help provide additional support to staff and volunteers, such as dedicated gardens and wellbeing spaces to take a break during busy shifts, or helping staff to better support one another through access to peer-to-peer training.
So, grab your teapot, pop the kettle on and let’s get brewing!
Get some resources to help here: NHS Big Tea 2023
Parkruns will take place across the country - including Burnley
‘Parkrun for the NHS’ is an exciting partnership between parkrun UK and the NHS to celebrate the NHS’s 75th anniversary and showcase parkrun as a safe and inclusive space for all ages, abilities and backgrounds to be active and social in the great outdoors.
Tens of thousands of people across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to ‘parkrun for the NHS’ at their local parkrun events on Saturday 8 July and junior parkrun events on Sunday 9 July.
This includes Burnley, where a Parkrun for the NHS will take place on Saturday, 8 July at 9am at Townley Park.
Launch events took place across the UK. In Colchester Dame Ruth May DBE, Chief Nursing Officer for England, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, National Medical Director at NHS England, Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE, parkrun founder, and TV’s Dr Al-Zubaidi joined the local community of more than 400 walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers at Highwoods parkrun, setting a new attendance record.
Lots of NHS teams will be taking part and can provide information about the NHS and signpost to all the ways communities can help support the service, for example joining the NHS Organ Donor Register, giving blood or signing up to research programmes.
As well as celebrating the NHS’s 75th with ‘parkrun for the NHS’, parkrun has a partnership with the Royal College of GPs, which sees more than 1,700 GP practices across the UK committed to prescribing parkrun to patients and staff to help improve both mental and physical health.
Learn more about what's happing nationally to celebrate NHS 75
Your NHS 75 stories
We have asked colleagues and members of the public to share their stories and memories of the NHS from across the last 75 years follow our Instagram page to view stories or browse through our stories below.
“Volunteering is the best thing you can do and I’d recommend anyone who has some spare time to do it.”
“Speaking up about your mental health is daunting but the reality is most of us experience anxiety at some point in our lives. It's a normal and understandable response to stressful situations or trauma.”
“ELHT is showing a big commitment to the health of their diverse communities of East Lancashire.”
“One of the best things about my job is that you never know who is coming through the door and who you may meet. Sometimes we only see the patient for less than five minutes, but they can have a really big impact on your day.”
“The development of technology over the years has greatly improved patient care and allows for a safer, quicker and more effective treatment and diagnosis of patients.”
“I love being an integral part of ELHT, where inclusion is valued. The most special aspect of my job is being able to work with so many amazing people and being part of such a diverse workforce.”
“Working with patients in dermatology is rewarding because the impact of treatment is visible and has a tremendous benefit on their mental wellbeing as well as their skin.”
“It's rewarding to see positive outcomes for patients living with long term skin conditions following the right treatment at the right time alongside education.”
“Ice hockey is a fast sport, which involves working as a team and having the ability to make quick decisions are assets I’ve been able to apply to my role in ELHT’s Fracture Clinic.”
“I am deeply grateful to the clinician and surrounding workforce who saved my life. What other organisation or group of people can claim to give people a life?”
“The team in Theatres is like an extended family. We have so many fabulous people working at ELHT who I am fortunate to work with on a daily basis.”
“My waters went when I was teaching yoga at 41+3 weeks.”
“Knowing that I am making a difference in my patients' lives is the most rewarding aspect of my profession and the thing that keeps me going every day.”
“It’s like magic watching a baby being delivered, and that feeling never left me.”
“I have always liked a faster-paced work environment so the adrenalin of working in emergency care suits me to a tee.”
“The journey of a patient in hospital can be difficult and at times traumatic. The satisfaction I get from seeing a patient’s mood being lifted is what I love most about the job.”
“We have received so much from the NHS over the past 27 years!”
“I’m proud to be a nurse – I wouldn’t do anything different.”
“Due to the institutionalised nature of the military many veterans find the transition into civilian life difficult. It’s our job to help change that.”
“Working in the community is like a family. Everyone seems to know one another, and everyone looks out for one another. Even when things feel challenged the District Nursing teams still go out their way for the community.”
“Working at ELHT has been the best career choice I could have made. Working alongside great people and many teams, positively influencing health outcomes, really has been the best.”
“I have nothing but praise for the NHS, as an employee, and for the care I have received, it has done nothing but its best for me.”
“I have always been a people person and love chatting and helping, so being a receptionist is the perfect role for me. My school reports said: ‘Lynn talks too much’, and when one of my old teachers visited the hospital they smiled and said: ‘perfect role for you, this!’”
“The care Kit received from my colleagues at ELHT was second to none and everything was explained thoroughly to us at every interval.”
“I wanted to reach out and help the Armed Forces community in any way they needed as I believe they are a community we should be supporting.”
“Alfie brings endless joy to everyone he meets and enables us to reach people who otherwise we would not be able to.”
"Meeting the King… well, it’s not something you do every day!”
“Being a midwife is one of the oldest and most important professions in the world. Let’s remember that and be proud of it.”
“I always wanted to be a nurse from being very small and that never waned as I grew up. I wrote to my local hospital The George Eliot in Nuneaton when I was 10 to say I was interested in being a nurse!”
“The Prince's Trust has changed my life more than they will ever know. They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, encouraged me, but most of all gave me a chance.”
“You had a choice to make: stay with the expectant mum and deliver her baby or run to the nearest phone box to ‘call the midwife’ but risk the woman giving birth alone with a toddler running around? The dilemma of a 1960s midwife – and I was still in training!”
“I love my job. It’s such a privilege and an honour to be involved with patients and their families during what is often one of the most vulnerable and uncertain times of their lives.”
“When my marriage fell apart, I lost everything. A single mum to four children, I knew it was now or never that I finally followed my dream to become a midwife.”
“The NHS saved my life - and then it gave me a new career. I’ll never stop being grateful.”
“When I moved sites and was put to work with Jill, we instantly clicked! The Ant to my Dec, she’s like family to me!”
“I’ve always been passionate about providing excellent care and believe that the little things we do can make a massive difference to patients and their families at what can be a distressing and difficult time.”
“Here you see life from a totally different perspective. Just being with people, holding their hand and finding out about them is amazing.”
“I wanted a career that I could take all over the world and one where I could help those in need and very ill.”
“Volunteering has become a part of our lives. It’s our way of giving something back to society.”
“I would encourage other overseas doctors to come and work here. The Trust is welcoming and helpful in giving us an opportunity that otherwise might be difficult to come by.”
“The NICU team helped us through the hardest weeks of our lives. We laughed together, cried together, and got through it together.”
“I want to make a hellish situation as bearable as it can be by trying to take a small amount of that horrendousness away and make it known to that person diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and their relatives that they aren’t facing it alone.”