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Royal College of Surgeons celebrates achievements of the NHS over the past 70 years

05 Jul 2018

Supporting NHS 70 logoOn the day the NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary, Professor Derek Alderson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:

“The National Health Service has achieved countless extraordinary things, on a day-to-day basis, for generations of patients over the past 70 years.  Today’s celebrations provide an opportunity to express our deep gratitude to all the NHS staff who have worked tirelessly over the past seven decades to maintain high standards of care, and advance medical innovations for patients.  Anyone who has had the privilege of working in the NHS will justifiably feel a sense of pride today.

“In surgery, we have seen some incredible inventions which have benefitted NHS patients of all ages.  In paediatric surgery, babies born with congenital heart disease can now undergo life-saving heart operations, while babies born with a cleft lip and palate can have reconstructive facial surgery.  In orthopaedics, the surgeon Professor Sir John Charnley pioneered the hip replacement operation – which has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who would otherwise be immobile and in pain.  

“We have also seen huge innovations in transplant surgery, by individuals such as Sir Terence English, who performed Britain’s first successful heart transplant.  In recent years, the development of laparoscopic surgery has also speeded up patients’ recovery time and reduced scarring.

“Our Commission on the Future of Surgery, which is due to report in the autumn, has heard evidence about similar breakthroughs that will transform the way we care for NHS patients in the near future.  The Royal College of Surgeons is delighted and proud to play a pivotal role in inspiring and nurturing the next generation of NHS surgeons; and training them to perform advanced techniques.”


The Royal College of Surgeons has undertaken a number of activities to acknowledge the NHS' 70th anniversary:

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