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Voting begins for NHS’s greatest achievement of the past 70 years

The BMJ today reveals the 12 contenders that have made its shortlist to find the NHS’s greatest achievement since it launched on 5 July 1948.

The project is a celebration of the NHS, not just as an organisation, but as a set of principles about how we value health at both an individual and a societal level.

But what is the greatest achievement of the NHS? The one thing about the NHS that makes us most proud?

The shortlist has been compiled from ideas sent in by The BMJ’s readers. Not surprisingly, a founding principle of the NHS tops the list – providing care based on need and free at the point of delivery. Others include a comprehensive childhood vaccination programme, access to in vitro fertilisation, and leading the world in cost effective healthcare.

Visit bmj.com (This week’s poll) to vote for your favourite.

Voting will close on 15 June and the winner will be announced on 28 June.

Dr Fiona Godlee, The BMJ’s Editor in Chief said: “The NHS today, in many respects, is in much better shape than in its younger days – more care is provided, in better ways, to more people. Yet in its 70th year, the debate is at a critical point about the service’s very essence and its sustainability.

Over the coming months, we will examine the NHS’s achievements and future prospects in more detail, from how it is funded to how it is best delivered by staff and experienced by users. In the meantime, any of these achievements would make a deserving winner, and it will be fascinating to see which one comes out on top. I urge everyone to join the debate and get voting.”

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