Posted 3rd July 2020 | 2 Comments

Network Rail to celebrate 72nd birthday of NHS

STATIONS and bridges will be illuminated by Network Rail tomorrow night as a tribute to the National Health Service, whose 72nd anniversary falls this weekend.

The NHS was created by the post-war Labour government and was launched on 5 July 1948, as the first service of its kind anywhere in the world. The railways had already gone a transformation of their own that year when the old companies had been nationalised on 1 January as British Railways.

Network Rail said blue lighting will be switched on at 20.00 to celebrate the anniversary of the health service at a number of larger stations, including many of the London termini as well as the principal stations in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Cardiff. Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge, which carries the railway across the Menai Strait between mainland Wales and Anglesey, will also be illuminated.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: ‘On its 72nd birthday, never has our NHS been so supported, so needed and so celebrated. Fellow critical workers from the rail industry will show their appreciation this weekend as we play a small part in helping celebrate this wonderful milestone.’

Reader Comments:

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  • Garth, Dunkeld

    Not wishing in any way to minimise the NHS, as I was helped only a few years after it came in, but New Zealand was in fact the first country to provide universal coverage. The 1938 Social Security Act provided for a universal healthcare system with free hospital treatment, free medicine, a maternity benefit and subsidized doctors visits. It came into operation in 1941/2.
    I agree with Tony re the care sector, disgracefully badly treated over the years by all political parties.
    [New Zealand did introduce an earlier 'NHS', but it was not universal. To quote Wikipedia: 'In 1938, the Social Security Act from the first Labour Government attempted to provide government funded healthcare to all. This failed as medical professionals still wanted to charge those patients who could afford the cost. The government settled on the idea of only subsidising the poor.--Ed.]

  • Tony Pearce, Reading

    I hope they mention the 'Care Sector' as well, - the Cinderella Service that props up the NHS. Around 2 million workers - most paid peanuts - to look after the Elderly and Long-term sick in either their own homes or in Care or Nursing Homes.