Celebrating 75 years of the NHS

The National Health Service turns 75 on Wednesday 5 July. With a continuing commitment to provide care for all, based on clinical need and free at the point of delivery, the NHS remains one of the UK’s proudest achievements. Join us as we celebrate this milestone anniversary.

Hospitals that make history

Since its creation in 1948, the NHS has enabled and benefitted from some of the biggest advances in health and care worldwide. As part of our birthday celebrations, we have curated a special timeline which highlights how our hospitals and our staff have helped shape the NHS from the very start. This includes:

  • Establishing one of the UK’s first artificial kidney units at Hammersmith Hospital and pioneering the development of dialysis in 1956
  • Prof Lord Ara Darzi using the Da Vinci robot for the first time in the UK at St Mary’s Hospital during heart surgery in 2001
  • Using high-intensity, focused ultrasound waves to treat patients with debilitating tremors, avoiding traditional, invasive brain surgery techniques, in a UK first in 2016.

Our hospitals continue to be at the forefront of advancements in care and treatment. More recently, in 2022, the Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, which we host and run in partnership with Imperial College London, was awarded £95 million. And earlier this year, we launched Paddington Life Sciences, a new life sciences cluster centred on St Mary’s Hospital and founded on growing partnerships with research, industry and community organisations.

View our dedicated NHS75 timeline.

Thanking and recognising our staff, now and through the years

Supported by Imperial Health Charity, we are running a programme of events and entertainment to say thank you to our staff for their hard work, passion and dedication.

We will be publishing a series of news stories to celebrate our rich history and commitment to research and innovation.

We will also be sharing accounts of Imperial people who have been part of the NHS story through the years, including:

  • a blog on Dr Charles Wilson, a consultant physician at St Mary’s Hospital, who became Lord Moran in 1943 and was instrumental in winning over early opposition from the medical profession towards the NHS
  • a blog by Dr Alasdair Fraser who was a medical student at St Mary’s Hospital at the advent of the NHS
  • a video featuring Carol Cato-Duncan, matron of renal services at Hammersmith Hospital, whose mother came to the UK as part of the Windrush Generation and was a nurse at Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital
  • a video with Dame Professor Averil Mansfield CBE, retired vascular surgeon at St Mary’s Hospital, who became the first female professor of surgery in the United Kingdom in 1993.