75 years of the NHS

Since the NHS was founded on 5 July 1948, it has always innovated and adapted to meet to needs of each generation. The founding principles remain as relevant, and valued, today as they were 75 years ago. The public still support having a national health service, with 90% of people agreeing that healthcare should be free of charge, 84% that care should be available to everyone, and that the NHS makes them most proud to be British.

As we mark 75 years of the NHS on 5 July 2023, we’re looking back on the history and achievements of our organisation, the recent innovations and technology that has changed how we provide care, the dedication of the hundreds of thousands of health and social care staff and volunteers, and the opportunities that lie ahead to shape the next 75 years of the health service.

Treating over a million people a day, the NHS has been a constant presence throughout our lives and now is the chance to celebrate with us. We can all play a role in supporting the NHS in this special birthday year.


On this momentous milestone of the NHS at 75, this is an occasion to celebrate the dedicated staff and volunteers who have shaped the NHS into what it is today.

Merran McRae, LYPFT’s Chair, had the following words for all our colleagues,

“In my first six months as the new Chair, I made it a priority to actively listen and engage with as many individuals as possible to truly understand the sentiments of colleagues, service users, and carers towards the Trust. I have been consistently inspired by the compassion, energy, and commitment displayed by all our teams, as aptly described by service users. Despite the workforce challenges we face and the daily stresses we encounter, your unwavering care and passion for your work shines through. I have witnessed colleagues going above and beyond, investing countless hours to resolve issues for individual service users and participating in improvement programs for the benefit of many. The NHS at 75 needs colleagues like you more than ever so thank you – for your hard work, your care and for truly living the values of LYPFT.”

Our colleagues’ stories

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust staff are telling their stories of inspiration and dedication that led them to join the NHS and what motivates them to continue their important work.

Brian Coupe is a Senior Nurse with West/Northwest Community Mental Health Service. “That day changed my life and I applied to become a learning disability nurse.” Click here to read Brian Coupe’s story

Michelle Higgins is our Head of Physical Health and Infection Prevention Control. “You do give a lot of yourself to the job, but equally you receive a lot in return. You will have great days and terrible days, but you will never be experiencing them alone.” Click here to read Michelle Higgins’ story

Nicola Binns is an Associate Practitioner with our EMERGE Leeds Service and a Staff Clinical Governor. “Seeing and being part of people’s journeys in mental health is what keeps me inspired.” Click here to read Nicola Binns’ story

Dr Sara Munro is Chief Executive of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. “My mum inspired me. When I qualified as a nurse I never looked back!” Click here to read Dr Sara Munro’s story.

Andrew Walton is a health support worker in the crisis assessment unit at the Becklin Centre. “The support from my team inspires me. Their care and kindness makes me so proud to work here.” Click here to read Andrew Walton’s story

Dr Miriam Isaac FRCPsych is a Consultant Psychiatrist in the National Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) based in York. “Being in a compassionate career is not always easy, but we get the chance every day to positively impact people’s lives.” Click here to read Miriam Isaac’s story

Windrush 75

On 22 June 1948, the passenger ship HMT Empire Windrush arrived in the UK, carrying over 1,000Maxine Brook's family photo for Windrush 75 passengers from the West Indies.

Mainly former service personnel, this was the first wave of post war immigration with many of the passengers taking up roles in the NHS, which launched just two weeks later.

The 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush in June this year is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the work of our black and ethnic minority colleagues and their significant contributions to the NHS, which is also marking its 75th year. It is very much an entwined history.

As part of our Windrush 75 and NHS 75 celebrations and the Trust’s ‘Big Thank You Festival’, we are inviting colleagues to share personal stories from their family and friends network.

On this page about Windrush 75 Maxine Brook, Co-Chair of our Workforce Race Equality Network has shared her family’s Windrush story along with a family photo.

Service User Network ‘Thank You’ to our staff.

Members of LYPFT’s Service User Network, supported by the Patient and Carer Experience Team, spent time thinking about what the NHS has meant to them.

Members wanted to say ‘Thank You’ to LYPFT staff as the NHS marks its 75th Anniversary and created a card which has been sent to wards and teams with more messages featured in this video.>