Then and now: Healthcare during the Queen’s 70 Year Reign

As we are celebrating the Queen’s momentous 70 years on the throne through the Platinum Jubilee, at Standby Healthcare we’ve been reflecting on how much has changed within the healthcare industry. It’s hard to imagine life without modern nursing and the specialists and research that have irradicated so many diseases and illnesses!

Let’s see how much has changed…


With the NHS in it’s infancy, new and potent drugs were starting to come onto the market to help treat illnesses. Unfortunately these new drugs were often expensive or difficult to produce so were not readily available to the masses until industrial scale production facilities were created. In 1956, a charge was added to each item prescribed to help bring back money into the NHS so more people had access to their medication they needed.

Today the prescription charges have increased with modern living costs to help with the cost of medication.


Deaths in diseases such as diphtheria, smallpox and polio dramatically reduced following immunisations and better knowledge of how each disease outbreak spread during the 1950s. 

Today through healthcare knowledge and better living conditions, we don’t experience the same diseases and illnesses that were affecting the British public 70 years ago. Advances in technology have made survival rates so much greater, we wonder what will happen in another 70 years! 

Doctor-Patient Relationship

During the 1950s, there was a more hierarchical doctor-patient relationship; with individuals taking the doctor or healthcare professional’s advice on treatment as gospel. You’ve heard the saying ‘Keep calm and carry on’? Many people in the 1950s would rather suffer in silence than admit to complaining or to question doctors and nurses with authority. 

Today the doctor-patient relationship is almost like having an old friend, built on mutual respect as well as loyalty and trust. Being able to feel comfortable with a healthcare professional who will likely see you at your most vulnerable in important. 

Aren’t we lucky to have the healthcare that we have now!

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