Public urged to share their NHS stories for 70th anniversary

Health Secretary Shona Robison has urged people across the Scotland to share their stories and memories of health care throughout the years at the launch of celebrations to mark the run up to the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

She visited Lothian Birth Centre in Edinburgh yesterday to meet staff, patients and former service users hear some of the stories of people touched by the NHS.

Generations apart, Gavin Scott, born on the day the NHS was formed on 5 July 1948, and new mum Lisa Shoate, 36, who gave birth to her second baby yesterday, shared their own experiences.

They were among those taking part in yesterday’s launch.

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Gavin Scott, 69, was born in the Elsie Inglis Maternity Hospital in Edinburgh at 0750 on 5 July 1948, the first son of May and Tommy Scott.

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Gavin credits the NHS with the quality of care he and his family have received through the years.

He said: “I’ve been very proud in my life to say I was born on the day the NHS began.

“Over the years it’s looked after me and my family well, helping with whatever we’ve needed.

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“I believe all went well with my birth, and my mum went on to have two other sons under its care.

“As a child, I had measles, whooping cough and the other ailments that were fairly common in children at that time. I didn’t get a BCG because my mother had tuberculosis when she was younger so I was immune. I remember getting a chest x-ray every year at my school in a mobile van, but that stopped in the 1960s.

“The NHS safely delivered our children into the world, and our four grandchildren, the most recent being our grandson who arrived a few months ago. Although it’s easy for people to criticise the NHS we have much to be grateful for.”

National events to mark the anniversary include a civic reception for frontline NHS Scotland staff, with local NHS board events including afternoon teas, photography exhibitions and services of celebration and thanksgiving.

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Contributions from public, patients and staff will form part of the campaign leading up to the anniversary, with seven stories selected to feature in a short film of NHS memories across the decades.

Ms Robison said: “The 70th anniversary of the NHS provides the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to the institution that has done so much for so many.

“Through investment, innovation and reform, this evolution in the way care is delivered will continue.

“I’d encourage people show their support for the NHS during its special year by joining the celebrations, and am looking forward to hearing people’s stories of what the NHS has meant to them over the coming weeks.”