21 Facts About NHS


In England, NHS patients have to pay prescription charges; some, such as those aged over 60 and certain state benefit recipients, are exempt.

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NHS Wales was split from NHS in 1969 when control was passed to the Secretary of State for Wales.

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NHS was born out of the ideal that healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth.

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Three years after the founding of the NHS, Bevan resigned from the Labour government in opposition to the introduction of charges for the provision of dentures, dentists, and glasses; resigning in support was fellow minister and future Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

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From its earliest days, the cultural history of the NHS has shown its place in British society reflected and debated in film, TV, cartoons and literature.

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The NHS had a prominent slot during the 2012 London Summer Olympics opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle, being described as "the institution which more than any other unites our nation".

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Everyone living in the UK can use the NHS without being asked to pay the full cost of the service, though NHS dentistry and optometry do have standard charges in each of the four national health services in the UK.

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NHS is free at the point of use, for general practitioner and emergency treatment not including admission to hospital, to non-residents.

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Trade union, Unite, said back in early 2019 that the NHS had been under pressure as a result of economic austerity.

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The NHS is consistently ranked as the institution that makes people proudest to be British, beating the Royal family, Armed Forces and the BBC.

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NHS is under-resourced compared to health provisions in other developed nations.

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Nurses within the NHS maintain that patient care is compromised by the shortage of nurses and the lack of experienced nurses with the necessary qualifications.

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The NHS was the first health service in Europe to negotiate coverage for novel CAR-T cancer therapy, with agreement reached within 10 days of its European marketing authorisation.

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Saffron Cordery of NHS Providers said that hospitals needed help to do their work without being up in deficit, as two-thirds were in the year to 2018.

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The figures, put together by NHS Digital, led to calls to reassure European workers over their future in the UK.

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In September 2021 the Daily Telegraph carried a story saying that "nearly half of all NHS staff have no medical qualifications", being managers, administrators or unqualified assistants.

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Performance of the NHS is generally assessed separately at the level of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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The report put the UK health systems above those of Germany, Canada and the US; the NHS was deemed the most efficient among those health systems studied.

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The NHS was doing well at protecting people from heavy financial costs when ill.

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NHS Confederation polled 182 health leaders and 9 in 10 warned that inadequate capital funding harmed their “ability to meet safety requirements for patients” in health settings including hospitals, ambulance, community and mental health services and GP practices.

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In 2020, the NHS issued medical advice in combating COVID-19 and partnered with tech companies to create computer dashboards to help combat the nation's coronavirus pandemic.

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