s NHS Diamond Anniversary - Happy 60th birthday! - Hull Museums Collections

NHS Diamond Anniversary - Happy 60th birthday!

Detail from NHS registration card

This National Health Service Registration card was issued to Gertrude E Hudson on the very first day of the NHS at the Dr Deacon's surgery on Morrill Street, Holderness Road, Hull.

The NHS's first day

On 5th July 1948, the National Health Service was opened for business by Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan at Park Hospital in Manchester.

The new National Health Service aspired to free medical services for all regardless of wealth or status, financed through taxation.

It was ushered in by Clement Atlee's Labour government as part of their 'cradle to grave' welfare state reforms, and covered the cost of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists.

At first people were suspicious of the new set up, but once they understood that they were seeing the same doctor and getting the same treatment but they didn't have to pay for it, they 'came in their hoards' according to one doctor.

This card was featured in a Hull Daily Mail article to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the NHS.