Celebrating the NHS

In recognition of 75 years of the NHS, we spoke to colleagues across Health Innovation East to share what the NHS means to them.

Published: 05th July 2023

Today (5 July), marks 75 years since the National Health Service (NHS) was established.

In 1948 the NHS revolutionised healthcare by becoming the first universal health system to offer free medical care to the entire population. It was founded on the principles of delivering a high level of service, available to all, according to need and free at the point of delivery.

From Europe’s first successful liver transplant, and the world’s first CT scan, to delivering the first accredited COVID-19 vaccine in the world, over the last 75 years the NHS has transformed healthcare in the United Kingdom and across the world. Health Innovation East have been a small part of the NHS’s 75 year history but is proud to support the development of great ideas into positive health impact. Our support helps the NHS to generate and implement innovation to strengthen and boost the NHS to improve healthcare for patients in the Eastern region.

Our colleagues share what the NHS means to them to mark the 75 anniversary of the NHS.

”A place that has healed many of my bones, patched me up after a serious bike accident, my two hour foray into snowboarding and multiple other clumsy moments. It has helped to mend my mind and on one very special occasion has supported me to bring a new life into the world. I am proud to have worked in it, for it and be supported by it over my lifetime and feel privileged to live in a society where this is the norm.” Jenny Norman, Advisor/Innovation Lead, Health Innovation East

“The NHS means so much to our family . The NHS saved our son’s life when he contracted an incredibly rare disease - 16 years later he is a healthy teenager and we experience so much joy having him in our lives.” Joanna Dempsey, Principle Advisor, Commercial Enterprise Lead, Health Innovation East

“From having heart surgery as a child to giving birth in difficult circumstances to my own children as I’ve grown older, the NHS has always delivered unfaltering care to me and my loved ones. Despite the strains on the system, the provision is always there, bolstered by its resolute and caring staff and I am so proud to be supporting them through my work at Health Innovation East to continue to advance for many years to come.” Amy Chapman, Advisor, Health Innovation East “It was close to midnight on a Tuesday in February and somehow I manage to scratch my cornea. I felt really worried, but through NHS 111 was able to find a 24-hour eye clinic a short taxi ride away. Within an hour the clinicians had seen me, reassured me and told me exactly what to do with the medication they provided. A remarkable service and experience, that for me is proof of the fantastic asset the NHS is for us all.” Joe Swann, Senior Stakeholder and Engagement Manager, Health Innovation East

“Happy Birthday you legend! Having worked with the NHS for 15 years now I can proudly say I have never met or partnered with a more hard working, resilient, transformational and inspiring colleague…thank you for all you have done, currently doing and I know will do for the health of the nation going forward. P.S. You are looking great for 75.” Nick Clarke, Principal Advisor, Health Innovation East“Knowing care will always be there, the NHS has given me the security of my future and the security of my family’s future. I feel very lucky to live in a country where healthcare is free and accessible for all, and it is a privilege to support the NHS through my work at Health Innovation East." Jess Glenn, Communications Coordinator, Health Innovation East “As a third generation NHS worker, I have a special emotional connection to the organisation and its values. My grandparents were nurses from its inception and were incredibly proud to work in it their whole working lives, my mum following suit. It didn't take long for me to follow their lead and even my partner re-trained to become part of the NHS family!” Afra Kelsall, Senior Advisor, Mental Health Implementation Network“The knowledge that the NHS is always there to help, providing outstanding medical care for my family and friends, both young and old. It’s a real privilege to now be working collaboratively with NHS colleagues as part of my role at Health Innovation East.” Andrew Nightingale, Senior Commercial Advisor, Health Innovation East“Being of service to the NHS, means that l contribute to improving the outcomes and experience of many women/birthing people and their babies who access the National health service. So, Happy 75th Birthday NHS, l am proud to be of service.” Tendai Nzirawa, FRCN, Maternity Clinical Improvement Lead, Health Innovation East

With the government and NHS England confirming their intention to relicense England’s 15 Health Innovation Networks over the next 5 years in May 2023, Health Innovation East will continue supporting our NHS partners in the East of England, helping to support the development and spread of innovation to improve healthcare.

Find out more about our commitment to supporting the health and care system across the East of England.


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