National celebrations

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with a wide array of partners on plans to celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday. This includes other NHS bodies, as well as unions, local government, Royal Colleges, patient groups and charities. We are also working closely with NHS colleagues in the devolved nations, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Our plans include a range of initiatives that are national, regional and local.

At a national level, this includes publishing information to help teachers and other educators to engage children and young people to learn more about the history of the NHS and the things they can do to look after their own health and wellbeing.  We’re also keen to encourage them to consider a career in the NHS with more than 70 senior NHS leaders and TV medics going back to school to talk about their experience.

We are planning a number of large events, including ceremonies at Westminster Abbey and York Minster to be attended by staff from across the NHS. We are also working with MPs to find local ‘health heroes’the Royal Mint has launched a special NHS 10p coin and NHS charities who are organising the nationwide NHS Big 7Tea – the moment where everyone can get involved in the celebrations.

In addition, we’re working with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to promote how gardening, gardens and green spaces are good for health, happiness and general wellbeing. This includes a mental health trust winning a garden from the Chelsea Flower Show.

At a local and regional level, we are supporting NHS organisations, for instance hospital, ambulance, mental health and community trusts, as well as clinical commissioning groups, GPs, local authorities and others, to organise events for staff, patients and other partners.

We know that the public are keen to support the NHS and we will use the birthday to remind them about the many ways they can do this, for instance, by giving blood or joining the organ donor register.

We are working with the University of Manchester and University of Warwick on two major projects to collect the memories and stories of staff who have worked in the NHS over the last 70 years, as well as the people it has cared for.

We launched a website ( for the public, which includes details of events they can attend at a local and regional level.

We will share more information about our plans, as well as those of our partners, as soon as they are available, including key dates.  Please contact us if you have any questions.