Happy 63rd Birthday NHS!

07 May 2011
In celebrating 63 years of the NHS, Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health commented that he was lucky enough to be born into a society with a National Health Service. "I am committed to ensuring that it is protected for generations to come," he said. Both as a patient and as Health Secretary, I have seen the passion and dedication of staff across the NHS. I would like to join everyone else today in thanking them for their hard work as we celebrate the 63rd birthday of our National Health Service.

“It is this passion and dedication of NHS staff which we want to embrace and support through the NHS Leadership Academy. In Cambridge we have already seen huge improvements for people with diabetes thanks to frontline staff taking the lead and helping people manage their condition. By establishing the Leadership Academy today I want to help all doctors and nurses develop the leadership skills they need to drive a truly world-class NHS.

“Frontline NHS staff have shown they can work smarter, be more responsive and give patients better health outcomes. The challenge now is to make this the rule, not the exception.”

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said, “For 63 years the NHS has stood for fairness and compassion. It's been a comfort to people through difficult times, a proud symbol of all that's great about our country, and a literal life-line for millions. NHS staff do an incredible job, from the doctors and nurses who save lives, to the health visitors who support families at home, to the porters and admin staff who keep the whole organization working day-in, day-out.

“We can all be so proud that Britain's best-loved institution has been caring for people for more than six decades. But, if we want the NHS to continue to be there for people in the decades to come, we need to modernize it.

“Because of what we're doing today, the NHS will continue to thrive tomorrow: it will continue to be free at the point of use and our children and grandchildren will be able to rely on it – just as we have done.”

09 July 2005

Extract from: 'The Future of Health and Public Service Regulation' Speech

May I begin by expressing my warm thanks to the NHS Confederation for arranging this series of speeches on the future of our public services and for inviting me to contribute? At the start of a Parliament, it is very good to take an opportunity to think about the direction and the objectives of reform and of policy, somewhat free of the partisan demands of electioneering. The NHS Confederation continues to be, under Gill’s leadership, a strong advocate of reform and of high standards of leadership and management in the NHS. I have greatly valued our discussions over the last two years and even if we cross swords occasionally, I know we have shared aims in securing the opportunity for strong leadership and quality management to deliver high standards of healthcare in our NHS.

21 May 1997

Maiden Speech in the House of Commons

Thank you very much, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to make my maiden speech. It is a daunting prospect, not least because I follow the exemplary and entertaining speeches of the hon. Members for Aberdeen, South (Miss Begg) and for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth (Ms McKenna).

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