Last week, the country came together to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the NHS. As part of the celebrations, we took a closer look at women’s contribution to the NHS and their wider impact to public health in the UK.
From nurses, to midwives, to researchers, women’s influence on our National Health Service has been invaluable. However, it’s important to recognise the difficulties they have had to face in their field. From gender bias, to unequal pay, to racial discrimination, and unequal opportunities, their achievements are a testament to their resilience, dedication, and passion for their role.
To start, we will focus on key female figures in the public health sector past and present. Each of these women have been trailblazers in their own right and made key contributions to their local and national community.
Dr Emily Lawson
Dr Emily Lawson was Chief Commercial Officer of the NHS who led the vaccination roll out for COVID19.
Kitty Wilkinson was an Irish immigrant who lived in Liverpool. During the cholera epidemic, she opened her personal boiler up to her local community to cleanse infected clothes and linen. This saved many lives in the long run and now has a charity set up in her name.
Mary Seacole was a British Jamaican nurse who is widely known for setting up the ‘British Hotel’ for injured soldiers in the Crimean War. It’s been argued she was the first British nurse practitioner. She overcame many social barriers to fulfill her passion and saved many people’s lives throughout her career.
Fast forwarding to the present day, the NHS has become one of the largest employers of women in the world.
Recent statistics show that 76.7% of 1.3 million NHS staff are women, meaning women play a vital role in the health and well-being of the public. Scroll below to find out the other roles they play in our National Health Service.
Women’s contributions to the NHS have been instrumental in shaping and advancing healthcare in the UK. Their resilience, compassion, and innovation have left an indelible mark on the system. As we celebrate their achievements, let us strive for a future where women are empowered and their voices are amplified, creating a more inclusive and equitable healthcare landscape for all.
The Women’s Organisation are there for women in the workplace
We are passionate about women’s health in the workplace. Our new project, Women’s Workplace Wellness, will provide resources and information to support small and medium-sized businesses to implement meaningful changes and help break down taboos around women’s reproductive health, delivering better outcomes for women’s equality. For more information, read our blog.