Celebrating 75 years of the NHS

Today is the 75th anniversary of the founding of the NHS. In that time millions of people have worked for the service and we must celebrate all they achieved to help scores of millions of patients.

  • We know there are pressures on services, particularly following the pandemic, and it is important the NHS changes and adapts in response to this, including with technological and medical advancements.
  • That is why we are supporting our NHS with record levels of investment, record numbers of doctors and nurses, and wide-ranging reform, including our 15-year NHS workforce plan, backed by £2.4 billion, modernising the workforce, and setting out the largest expansion in training and recruitment in the NHS’ history.
  • We are confident that with our plans for recovery and reform and an embrace of technology and innovation, our NHS will be fit to deliver the best care to patients for another 75 years, as we deliver on the Prime Minister’s pledge to cut waiting lists.

A Conservative government will protect the future of the NHS by: 

  • Ensuring our NHS remains free at the point of use, remaining fully committed to one of the founding principles of our health service. Our NHS, free at the point of use, is a source of national pride, and we will continue to uphold and support this founding principle. 
  • Supporting our NHS with record levels of investment, helping to cut waiting lists and ensure our NHS is fit for the future. We are investing an extra £45.6 billion in funding for health and social care over the next three years, on top of previously announced increases – boosting staffing and resources and helping to cut waiting lists. 
  • £150 million to drive new technology and digitisation across social careto support independent living and improve the quality of care as well as making the system more efficient. This will include acoustic sensors to help residents sleep uninterrupted and allow carers to monitor them safely, as well as improved digital care records to make sure all those responsible for their care have the latest up-to-date details.
  • Publishing our NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, ensuring our NHS has the training and workforce it needs to continue to deliver for patients. Our NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, backed by over £2.4 billion, is the largest expansion in training and workforce in our NHS’ history, significantly reducing our reliance of international workers, helping to deliver for patients, and cutting waiting lists. 
  • Remaining on track to deliver on our manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, increasing capacity and helping to cut waiting lists. We are on track to deliver on our manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, and a further eight new hospitals will be built in the 2030s. 
  • Providing £1.5 billion for hospital maintenance through our New Deal for Britain, accelerating new hospital building projects, improving A&E performance, and helping to cut waiting lists. This will improve patient care, make sure NHS hospitals can deliver world-leading services and help to cut waiting lists. 

We will cut waiting lists in the NHS by: 

  • Virtually eliminating two-year waits, ensuring patients get the care they need when they need it. The number of patients waiting more than 18 months for elective treatment has been reduced by over 90 per cent to under 11,000 and two-year waits have been virtually eliminated. 
  • Publishing our Primary Care Plan, making it easier to get a GP appointment and helping to cut waiting lists. Our £885 million Primary Care Plan will tackle the 8am rush and make it easier to get an appointment, support patients accessing some prescriptions from pharmacies without first seeing a GP, and deliver more GPs and GP appointments in our NHS.  
  • Building 160 new community diagnostic centres (CDCs) and 50 new surgical hubs across the country. Backed by £2.3 billion and £1.5 billion respectively, these will mean people can get their symptoms checked much closer to home and receive operations they need more quickly. 108 CDCs are already open, delivering over 4 million additional tests and scans. The new surgical hubs are in addition to 91 existing surgical hubs meaning there will be over 140 by 2024-25. 
  • Increasing ambulance response times for the most urgent cases to the quickest they have been in almost two years. Average category two response times are now at 28.5 minutes and category one at 8 mins – both the lowest in almost two years. Our Urgent and Emergency Care Recovery plan commits to keeping average category two times to 30 minutes on average over 2023/24 and to make further improvement in 2024/25 towards pre-pandemic levels.

We will ensure the NHS has the resource it needs by:

  • Recruiting a record number of doctors and nurses working in the NHS, helping to cut waiting lists. There are over 5,400 more doctors and 12,900 more nurses working in NHS hospitals compared to March 2022, and we’re on track to meet our commitment to recruit 50,000 extra nurses by 2024.  
  • Surpassing our manifesto commitment of 26,000 more primary care staff by March 2024 – having already recruited over 29,000 more staff compared to March 2019. These include clinical pharmacists, mental health practitioners, physiotherapists and nursing associates, ensuring our NHS has the staff it needs to deliver for patients. 
  • Doubling the number of medical school places, ending our reliance on foreign-trained doctors and attracting more talent to our NHS. As part of our new NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, we are doubling the number of medical school training places for doctors from 7,500 to 15,000 and investing an extra £1 billion in training medical professionals beyond the next election. 
  • Investing £96 million into NHS research equipment and technology, delivering high-quality research to improve the prevention, management, and treatment of disease for patients. The National Institute for Health and Care Research announced £96 million of Government funding for NHS research with majority of funding targeted outside of the South East area, levelling up NHS research across the UK. 
  • Expanding lung cancer screening to people aged 55 to 74 with a history of smoking, helping to detect cancers sooner and speeding up diagnosis for improved patient outcomes. We are investing £270 million annually into lung cancer screening for high-risk individuals who will be invited to specialist scans every two years, identifying cancers earlier and improving outcomes. 


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