NHS 70th anniversary

5 July 2018 12:00am–12:00am

On 5 July 1948, the National Health Service came into existence. 70 years on, it continues to be there for patients and communities. Its core values have stood the test of time: comprehensive care, free at the point of use, delivered on the basis of need rather than the ability to pay.

The NHS remains our most popular national institution – the thing that makes us most proud of our country. And it continues to come top when comparing it to healthcare systems which exist in other countries, for both fairness and efficiency.

But we can never afford to take our NHS for granted. Years of government under-investment have been accompanied by repeated attempts to break up and privatise NHS services.

Our members work tirelessly every day to ensure that patients continue to receive the best care possible. But healthcare staff are also at the sharp end of cuts, experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and pressure in the workplace.

UNISON recognises that we need to continue to campaign to protect and defend our NHS. However, we also think it’s important to celebrate its achievements and everything it stands for.

To do this, we’re asking branches to organise events locally to celebrate the NHS at 70 and let us know what you have planned to publicise and promote attendance.

Among the things you could consider are:

  • Organising ‘Our NHS is 70’ themed parties
  • Holding workplace and public stalls to help raise the profile of NHS staff and the excellent work you do
  • Joining the conversation on social media using #NHS70

The 70th anniversary provides us with a great opportunity to talk to NHS staff and recruit new members into the union to make sure it’s around for another 70 years.

UNISON is also supporting a national demonstration in London on 30 June 2018 in defence of our NHS. Assemble at 12.00, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA, followed by a march to Downing Street.

The Publicity & Campaigning Committee has agreed to support membership participation by funding transport including the hiring of coaches to get members to the event, with up to £500 available for each branch.

To apply, branches should complete this form and return it together with receipts for expenditure incurred.