Celebrating the 70th birthday of our heathcare system

In celebration of the NHS’s 70th birthday, NHS Digital reveals seven statistics for seven decades. The figures demonstrate how the NHS has evolved since it sprang into being on July 5, 1948, and the changing health and lifestyles of the population.

1959

There were a total of 89,659 hospital-based nurses, midwives and health visitors in England and Wales. In 2017, there were 343,529 nurses, midwives and health visitors working in NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups in England.

1968

37 per cent of the population of England and Wales were edentate (had no natural teeth) compared to 6 per cent in 2009.

1979

23,062 GPs were working in England of which 19,197 were male and 3,865 were female. In 2017 there were 39,843 GPs working in England, of which 21,055 were female.

1989

in 1989-90 there were 155 hospital admissions for a liver transplant, in 2016-17 this had risen to 662.

1999

In 1999, 44 per cent of 11-15 year-olds had smoked at least once. In 2016, this had dropped to 19 per cent.

2008

There were 35,960,539 antidepressant prescription items dispensed in the community in England. In 2017 this had risen to 67,530,375 items.

2016-17

There were 617,000 admissions in NHS hospitals where obesity was a factor. This was an increase of 18 per cent on 2015-16.