75 years of the NHS

75 years of the NHS

75 years of the NHS

event Saturday, September 23, 2023 schedule 1.30pm - 2.30pm BST
Booking closed
Booking closed
event Saturday, September 23, 2023 schedule 1.30pm - 2.30pm BST
  • NHS
The National Health Service, past, present and future
In-person at Sidgwick | £15
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Health and medicine
Sidgwick Site | View details

Find the session recording below.

The National Health Service has played a vital role in the lives of tens of millions of people in the UK since its inception on the July 5, 1948, by the then-Minister of Health, Anuerin Bevan. Seventy-five years on it remains the world’s oldest and largest publicly-funded national healthcare system in existence.

The NHS has been at the forefront of medical research, technologies and treatments benefitting people worldwide. Despite innumerable achievements and strides made in diagnosing, treating, and preventing some of the world's most virulent and deadly diseases and illnesses, the future of universal healthcare in the United Kingdom is uncertain as the NHS faces several challenges. These challenges include a growing demand due to an aging population where people are living longer with more complex health needs as well as workforce shortages making it difficult to provide timely and high-quality care.  

The NHS is funded by general taxation, and the government has been cutting public spending in recent years. This is putting a strain on the NHS's finances. There are also political and ideological challenges. Some politicians argue the NHS should be replaced with a system of private health insurance. Others argue the NHS should be reformed to make it more efficient and responsive to patients' needs.  

The future of universal healthcare in the UK is likely to be shaped by these challenges and debates. It is possible the NHS can overcome these challenges and continue to provide high-quality care to all. However, it is also possible the NHS will be forced to make significant changes. Join our event as we look at the past, present and future of the NHS. 

75 years in the NHS


Professor Charlotte Summers

Charlotte Summers

Professor Charlotte Summers is Director of the Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Heart and Lung Research Institute, Professor of Intensive Care Medicine at the University of Cambridge and Honorary Consultant, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

Charlotte graduated in both Biomedical Sciences and Medicine from the University of Southampton, and later undertook a PhD at the University of Cambridge investigating the role of inflammation on the pulmonary transit kinetics of human neutrophils, alongside specialist clinical training in Respiratory (East of England) and Intensive Care Medicine (London).  She was subsequently appointed as the UK’s first NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Intensive Care Medicine, and went on to be awarded a Fulbright All-disciplines Scholar Award and a Wellcome Trust Fellowship for Postdoctoral Clinician Scientists.  Charlotte joined the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine in 2015 from University of California, San Francisco.

Professor Mary Dixon-Woods

Professor Mary Dixon-Woods

Mary Dixon-Woods is Director of THIS Institute and The Health Foundation Professor of Healthcare Improvement Studies in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge.

She is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Academy of Medical Sciences, an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of General Practitioners, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. A Professorial Fellow at Homerton College, Cambridge, Mary is also an NIHR Senior Investigator.

Mary served on England’s National Advisory Group on the Safety of Patients in England, which produced the Berwick report in 2013. She also served on the review of information technology in the NHS led by Professor Bob Wachter, which reported in 2016. She was a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator 2012-2019. Mary was the Harveian Orator for the Royal College of Physicians in 2018, the 500th anniversary of the College’s founding. She is a member of the BMJ’s international advisory board.

Mary’s programme of research is concerned with generating a high quality evidence-base to support improvement in the organisation, quality and safety of healthcare. Characteristically using mixed-methods approaches, her work focuses on evaluation of quality and safety improvement interventions and programmes, culture and behaviour in health systems, and regulation and governance of health research and care. She has a special interest in methodological innovation in the study of healthcare improvement.

Claire Stoneham

Claire Stoneham

Claire joined CUH in June 2020 from the Department of Health & Social Care, following a secondment in to the role of Executive Programme Director for the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough STP.

During a 15 year career, her national roles included the Director of Provider Efficiency & Performance, covering NHS performance standards, hospital discharge, efficiency savings and cost recovery; and Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Health.

Claire is responsible for the Trust’s strategy, including how we work with partners across the Integrated Care System and on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, and for the programme of major projects under the Addenbrooke’s 3 umbrella, including the Cambridge Children’s and Cancer Research Hospitals.

Booking information

In-person lectures at the Sidgwick Site as part of Alumni Festival cost £15 per person.

Booking for this event is now closed.


Sidgwick Site
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Events Team