The following is from our National Church website, do please spend time on 5 Jul giving thanks for the jewel in the crown of our National life, the NHS.
The National Health Service came into being on 5 July 1948. During post-
Beveridge, the architect of the NHS, identified "five giants” that had to be slain: want, disease, squalor, ignorance and idleness. The cataclysm of war provided the stimulus for radical reform. It was a momentous achievement and, in spite of early professional resistance to some of the proposals, it was born of a national consensus: everybody wanted the new service to work.
The NHS was based on principles unlike anything that had gone before. It was financed almost entirely from central taxation. That the rich paid more than the poor for comparable benefits was regarded as a crucial part of the scheme. Everyone was eligible for care, even people temporarily resident or visiting the country. People could be referred to any hospital, local or more distant. Care was free at the point of use, although prescription and dental charges were subsequently introduced.
During the current pandemic, there has been immense national and local support for the NHS and its front line workers. The emergence of the Thursday ‘Clap for Carers’ was a significant experience in the lockdown. Thanksgiving binds communities together, turning ‘I’ into ‘we’. The contribution of carers and key workers who have given of themselves sacrificially needs to be honoured. Sharing stories of people and events during the crisis is likely to form the kernel of any community celebration. Unsung heroes need to be applauded.
Chair of the Liturgical Commission
(The Rt Rev’d Robert Atwell is the Bishop of Exeter)
Prayers for the anniversary of the NHS
God of healing and compassion,
we thank you for the establishment of the National Health Service,
and for the dedication of all who work in it:
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who care for the sick,
and your wisdom to those engaged in medical research.
Strengthen all in their vocation through your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
at this time we lift to you
those from all nations and backgrounds
who work on the front line in healthcare.
Give them skill and wisdom in their work.
Be their strength and their shield
as they give of themselves in the care of others.
For carers and health professionals
whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve:
bless all who, following in his steps,
give themselves to the service of others;
that with wisdom, patience, and courage,
they may minister in his name to the suffering and the needy;
for the love of him who laid down his life for us,
your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Lord Jesus, who healed the sick and gave them new life,
be with all carers and health professionals,
as they act as agents of your healing touch.
In desperate times, keep them strong yet loving;
and when their work is done,
be with them in their weariness and in their tears.
From Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Chaplaincy, by Althea Hayton – adapted