16 July 2018

Happy Birthday NHS

Happy birthday, NHS

By Simon Whalley, Chairman at Birtley House


The NHS, one of the UK’s most iconic, respected and essential institutions, turned 70 on 5 July. The well-deserved plaudits failed, however, to recognise that the ‘free for all’ system was built on a structure that already provided highly skilled nurses and doctors but failed to fully recognise how important the support of the care sector would be.

With the continual debate around the future of the NHS relentlessly discussed in the media, particularly with reference to the pressure it is under amidst the backdrop of shrinking government budget, let us not forget all that it has done for the UK population in the seven decades since it was born.

And whilst we reflect on the NHS’s key achievements, I feel that now is probably an opportune time to point out that even before the NHS was brought to life, there were some innovators that were delivering social care in both the charitable and private sectors

Amongst these were Birtley House Nursing Home, which was founded by Eyhurst Court Ltd, an already successful long-standing care home business.

Founded by Dr Lloyd Driver – my Grandfather – who, prior to the First World War, helped pioneer the medical use of X-rays and acted as an army surgeon during the War, started to take patients suffering from mental illness into his own home. The several years spent providing care prior to the nursing home’s registration in 1932, means that Birtley House – the name adopted from the house in 1945 - is probably the oldest family-owned care home in the UK.

Just as Birtley House has evolved over the years, the NHS continues to evolve in line with the needs of the population and in accordance with government budgets. Moves to bring ‘health’ and ‘care’ together are very welcome but there is still a long way to go. My only hope is that, despite the strain it is under, the Government continues to deliver what it originally set out to achieve, which was to provide an inclusive service that afforded everyone the access to good care and the dignity that each and every one of us deserves at times of need.

01 August 2018
An "Arty" afternoon
An 'Arty' afternoon

A theraputic afternoon of arts, crafts and colouring...


26 July 2018
Caring Coffee 'Chit-Chat'
Caring Coffee 'Chit-Chat'

Coffee, cake and chatter with friends...

16 July 2018
Happy Birthday NHS

Care services here at Birtley date back further than the NHS 70 years...

22 June 2018
Mama Buba Bump at Birtley House
Mama Buba Bump at Birtley House

Fun in the sun for a teddy bears picnic. 


21 June 2018
Our Strawberry Tea in the Rose Garden
Our Strawberry Tea in the Rose Garden

Drink me...

18 June 2018
Longacre School Chamber Choir visit to Birtley House
Longacre School Chamber Choir
13 June 2018
Stone Carving
Stone Carving with Simon Keeley

Giving stone carving a go at Birtley House

12 June 2018
Let's care for volunteer carers in Surrey
Let's care for volunteer carers in Surrey

This week (11 – 17 June) is Carers Week – an annual campaign that seeks to raise awareness of those who volunteer their time to care for others on an unpaid basis, highlight some of the challenges they face and recognise the contribution they make to society.

11 June 2018
Here's to trying new things...
Here's to trying new things...

Afternoon of Willow Weaving and Wood Carving. 

22 May 2018
Spotting Dementia

It’s Dementia Action Week 2018 this week (21 – 27 May) - an awareness week that exists to shine a light on the devastating condition, which is said to develop in someone every three minutes.

Tags: Guildford care home, Bramley care home, Best care home in Surrey, Surrey care home, spotting dementia, how to spot dementia, Dementia Action Week

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