Metal Rock star and famous family man Ozzy Osbourne today led tributes in celebration of the 63rd birthday of the NHS.
Born in Birmingham in 1948, the same year the NHS was created, the Black Sabbath frontman was one of the first generation to be delivered by NHS doctors.
He was also treated by emergency services and the NHS when he was rushed to intensive care in Slough, following a near fatal accident in 2003.
Ozzy Osbourne had this message for NHS staff: ‘If it wasn’t for the hardworking staff of the NHS following my serious quad bike accident I may not be here today to continue my career as the Prince of Darkness.
‘I want to say a big thank you to all of the dedicated doctors, nurses and everyone else who makes up the NHS across the country – from Birmingham to Berkshire. Just like me, it’s still going strong after 63 years. Long may we both keep it up.’
The NHS was born on July 5 1948 out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth.
When then Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan launched the service at Park Hospital in Manchester, it was the climax of a hugely ambitious plan to bring good healthcare to all. For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella organisation that was free for all at the point of delivery – as it remains today.
Today, the NHS treats a million people every 36 hours and NHS staff are in contact with around 15 million people every day. Staff around the country are expected to hold local celebrations today to mark the important role they play in making the NHS the national treasure it has become.