History & Context
Content in this section was created by National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare.
The NHS was established on the 5th of July 1948. Its founding father and chief architect was the Minister of Health and Welshman Aneurin Bevan.
Before the NHS was set up healthcare was provided on a piecemeal and patchwork basis with many people having to pay directly for primary and hospital care services and others not receiving the services they needed.
The NHS was to be funded out of general taxation and was to be based on the following principles:
- Free at the point of delivery
The aim of the NHS was to promote:
"The establishment of a comprehensive health service designed to secure improvement in the physical and mental health of the people of England and Wales and the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness” (1946 NHS Act).
NHS Wales down the decades