The NHS at 70 by Ellen Welch

Two days ago NHS turned 72, which provided me with the perfect opportunity to read The NHS at 70 by Ellen Welch*. Welch is a doctor, which offers a fascinating insight into the history of the NHS. She is frustrated with some of the things that happen today in the NHS and she is, obviously, biased, but I was not bothered by this, as her experience within the system offers a much more holistic view. Hence I gave the book 5 stars.

The NHS at 70 by Ellen Welch

The history of the NHS starts before it was founded, on 5th July 1948. The concept was to make a health service which is free at the point of use and based on clinical need rather than on a person’s ability to pay. This sounds great, but it showed that this model is not always good, as many will try to take advantage and have a sense of entitlement. In only a few years after its inception, in the early 50s, the dental and ophthalmologic departments moved towards payments as the high demand in useless procedures like demanding glasses by people who did not need them meant they were costing too much. Sadly, 70 years on and lots of money are still wasted, and Welch talks about all these aspects.

The book is very interesting, nicely written, and at just shy of 150 pages, it is worth a read. There is a short comparison with US and the commonwealth is mentioned too, but I would have liked a comparison with other European health systems.

There are also many NHS stories that I’ve enjoyed. As for the early history, there are some pictures in the book taken in Liverpool, in buildings I’ve been to while on an architectural tour (now part of the university, not open to the public unless on special events), and that was a lovely little surprise. I recommend this book to my UK readers but also to my US readers, as the health system is so different there.

The NHS at 70 by Ellen Welch

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pen and Sword
Year it was published: 2018
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History, 20th century
Pages: 149

About the author: Ellen Welch works as both an NHS GP in West London and a Cruise Ship Doctor. She has worked in various roles both within the NHS and around the world over the last ten years including work as a ski field doctor in New Zealand and an expedition medic in Tanzania. She has won awards at both the BMA and MJA annual awards for her previous publications. Her work on cruise ships in particular has given her a fresh appreciation for the NHS.
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword

*I was sent a copy of The NHS at 70 by Ellen Welch for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

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