The 70th Anniversary of the National Health Service

Born out of the ideal that good healthcare should be publicly funded and available to all the National Health Service was launched on 5 July 1948 by the then Minister of Health, Aneurin Bevin.

This gallery represents a selection of photographs from the RIBA’s Robert Elwall Photographs Collection illustrating some of the variety of healthcare buildings constructed since the formation of the NHS 70 years ago. These range from a matron’s house and surgeries to that most complex of buildings the large teaching hospital. Virtually no new hospitals were built until the mid-1950s which was then followed by a building boom until the early 1970s and most of the images in this gallery are from that period.

For more details about the 70th anniversary of the NHS see: NHS70


42 items
Admissions Unit, Fairmile Hospital, Wallingford, Oxfordshire: the common roomRIBA56469

Boiler Suit, Guy's Approaches, Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital, LondonRIBA39909

Bridget Riley and John Weeks with Riley's murals, St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, LondonRIBA4185

Cannock Community Hospital, West Midlands: front elevation seen from the bridgeRIBA88165

Dental Hospital for University College Hospital, Mortimer Market off Capper Street, Bloomsbury, LondonRIBA50367

Doctors' communal surgery in the grounds of Henley General Hospital, Henley-on-Thames, OxfordshireRIBA56490

Epsom Hospital, Dorking Road, Epsom, SurreyRIBA57829

Extension to Torbay Hospital, Phase I, Torquay, Devon: elevated view of the central courtyardRIBA58564

Extension to Torbay Hospital, Phase I, Torquay, Devon: the theatre, pharmacy and pathology blockRIBA58562

Farnborough Hospital, Bromley, LondonRIBA115629

Gartnavel General Hopital, GlasgowRIBA6406

Group practice consulting rooms, Inch Road, Kelso, Scottish BordersRIBA51098

Guy's Hospital, St Thomas Street, London Bridge, London: Guy's TowerRIBA54725

Hammersmith Bridge Road Surgery, 1 Hammersmith Bridge Road, LondonRIBA6116

Hull Royal Infirmary, Anlaby Road, Hull: corner detail of the thirteen-storey block showing the mosiac tile claddingRIBA56385

Ipswich and East Suffolk Hospital, Ipswich: the water tower and boiler houseRIBA11368

Kent & Canterbury Hospital Phase II, Ethelbert Road, Canterbury, Kent: out-patients' main entrance and concourseRIBA56348

Kentish Town Health Centre, LondonRIBA69968

Leicester Royal InfirmaryRIBA109876

Leicester Royal InfirmaryRIBA109880

New Ulster Hospital, Dondonald, Belfast: the projecting balconies to the south elevation of the paediatric blockRIBA56339

Ninewells teaching hospital and medical school, Dundee: the south end of the concourse block and towerRIBA56353

Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, London, seen from the south-east with ward block to the left and operating department at rightRIBA54716

Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, London: the reception areaRIBA69790