Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
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NHS turns 65 today – Happy Birthday
05 July 2013

The NHS was launched on 5 July 1948. Over the 65 years since then it has continually grown, evolved and improved to become a source of national pride and a service envied around the world.

As the NHS passes its 65th anniversary it is undergoing the biggest organisational change in its history, with much of its budget now in the hands of GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups. But the high-quality service for patients continues uninterrupted and the NHS continues to develop and innovate.

“In 65 years, the NHS has done more to improve people's lives than any other institution in our history, and its excellence makes us the envy of the world.

We have taken real steps to protect the NHS and to give it a sustainable future.”
Jeremy Hunt, health secretary

National Health Service: Then and now

In 1948

  • 16,864 GPs and 125,765 nurses and midwives
  • Budget of £437 million (roughly £9 billion at today's value)
  • Average child would receive vaccinations for smallpox and diphtheria only
  • 14 days in hospital to give birth on average

In 2013

  • 1.7 million employees in total - only the Chinese People's Liberation Army, Wal-Mart and the Indian Railways directly employ more
  • Budget of £108.9 billion
  • Seven routine vaccinations for children
  • Two days in hospital to give birth on average

At Queen Alexandra Hospital we have seen many changes to our services in 65 years aiming to be the best hospital, providing the best care and staffed by the best people.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust is very proud of our hospital and has built up a great reputation. In 2012-2013 alone:

  • Portsmouthis one of eleven national centres designated to deliver training in Laparoscopic colorectal surgery, and is top in the delivery of training within the national training programme. We have extremely highly developed laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgical skills and receive referrals from all across southern England. This was one of the reasons why in 2013, the hospital acquired a da Vinci robot, and  became the European training centre for robotic surgery
  • Our Wessex Renal and Transplant service served a population in excess of two million people across Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset and West Sussex. We performed the highest number of altruistic kidney donations, making up around 18% of the national number in the UK
  • Our hospital’s maternity centre is one of the busiest on the South coast. In 2012 6,292 babies were born at the hospital and neonatal intensive care unit has maintained its position as one of the top performing level 3 units in the country
  • We are a designated cancer centre, and in 2012 were recognised as the most improved hospital with regard to the patient experience of cancer patients in a national survey run by the Department of Health
  • We established a specialist alcohol team to deal with high levels of alcohol abuse in the area. Between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013, 1,258 patients were seen by our alcohol service
  • We have an award winning diabetes team who continually meet the changing needs of our patients and provide additional services and appointments so our patients can benefit from our specialist expertise

Patients deserve world-class care and world-class facilities, and as always, we aim to deliver both. As a trust we look forward to what the next 65 years will bring for the hospital and for our local population!


Queen Alexandra Hospital
Cosham, Portsmouth
Tel: 023 9228 6000

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