The National Health Service came into being on 5 July 1948. 72 years ago this coming Saturday. During post-war reconstruction, improving the healthcare of the nation was seen as crucial to the nation’s recovery. 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.
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.
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.
Prayers in relation to Covid-19
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake. Amen.
Collect for St Luke
you called Luke the physician, whose praise is in the gospel, to be an evangelist and physician of the soul: by the grace of the Spirit and through the wholesome medicine of the gospel, give your Church the same love and power to heal; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord ,who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
How generous is your goodness, O God,
how great is your salvation,
how faithful is your love;
help us to trust you in trial
and praise you in deliverance;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
KEEP SAFE –— KEEP PRAYING