65 years of the NHS

Julie Parry, Archivist in the Labour History Archive & Study Centre, has written this blog on the 65th Anniversary of the NHS.

Today sees the 65th anniversary of the birth of the National Health Service in England and Wales.  The Labour History Archive & Study Centre looks after the national Labour Party archive collection and as such includes many interesting documents charting the planning and development of the NHS.  Below are a few items taken from the museum’s archive collection.  Firstly the initial draft of the 1945 manifesto, which became Let Us Face the Future, in which the NHS – one of the Attlee government’s greatest domestic legacy only has a two sentence mention on page 7:

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Next up is a page taken from a Communist Party leaflet Good Health for all: An examination of the Government’s proposals for a National Health Service (1944).  I wonder how much things have really changed for some people?

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Although some of the reasons for not visiting may have changed:

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Lastly there is a letter from Clement Attlee to Aneurin Bevan, Minister of Health who resigned from the Labour government when it was proposed to introduce charges for eyeglasses and dentures.  This letter is Attlee’s acceptance of Bevan’s resignation in April 1951.

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If you would like to know more about the archive collections visit the archive pages of the museum’s website or email archive@phm.org.uk