It was a pleasure to be at Barnsley Hospital this morning to mark 70 years of our NHS. It is Labour’s proudest achievement, guided by the belief that all citizens, regardless of where they were born and regardless of their wealth, should have access to healthcare, free at the point of access.

As we mark the 70th birthday of the NHS, I want to pay tribute to those who made it possible, from Beveridge to Attlee to Bevan, and to the generations of activists who’ve fought to defend our health service.

But most importantly of all, I want to pay tribute to our dedicated NHS staff and all who’ve come before them. They are the lifeblood of our health service, and whenever I meet them, I’m humbled by their skill, professionalism and dedication. Thank you to all our NHS staff for all that you do all year round.

The NHS is the greatest social policy achievement of the last 100 years, and is the greatest step forward in equality and fairness that our society has ever seen. Today, as we mark 70 years of our NHS, let’s celebrate our health service, and renew our commitment to defending an NHS that’s universal and free at the point of access.


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