Happy 70th Birthday to the NHS from Rebecca Evans

Seventy years on from the birth of the National Health Service in Wales, it is great to see communities coming together to commemorate this special occasion and to share why the NHS is special to them. It was especially lovely to see Gower’s own Aneira Thomas – the first baby born in the NHS – leading the celebrations!

We know that the NHS is nothing without its dedicated, committed staff – so I am pleased that the Welsh Labour Government marked the occasion by announcing a new pay offer.

The pay offer matches the offer made in England – and goes beyond it in some areas which are of particular importance to our NHS here in Wales. It also includes a continuing commitment to look at the annual Living Wage Foundation recommendations so that NHS pay scales remain fair in the future.

We have come a long way in 70 years. We are treating more people than ever before, have more nurses than ever before, and more people are surviving cancer than ever before. The technology that we use, and the research we are informed by, has changed healthcare beyond all recognition.

But we must continue to ensure that we offer care and treatment that is fit for a modern Wales. That is why I am backing plans for a centralised Adult Thoracic Surgery Centre at Morriston Hospital, serving patients from across South East Wales, West Wales and South Powys. Thoracic surgery involves operations on all parts of the chest, including the lungs. A large part of a thoracic surgical team’s work is on patients with lung cancer.

This is an exciting plan. If it gets the go-ahead, Morriston would be one of the largest thoracic surgery centres in the UK, offering the best support and care for patients, and putting Swansea on the map for this kind of expertise, ensuring that specialist services are sustainable in the long term. If you would like to support this plan, please get in touch for more details.

In the same week that the NHS turned 70, we said goodbye to Gower’s Julian Tudor-Hart. As a doctor, Julian was at the forefront of pioneering much of what is now accepted as routine preventive care. He famously identified the “inverse care law,” arguing that communities most in need of good healthcare are those least likely to receive it. Julian will be sadly missed by all who had the privilege to know him. His work remains as challenging and relevant today as it ever was.

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