But the NHS is also a dynamic and innovative institution that has continuously evolved over the last 70 years. Those who use it and work in it know that evolution needs to continue if the changing needs of patients are to be met when the NHS is celebrating its 80th birthday.
With the recent Government announcement of additional funding for the NHS we can now face the immediate future with renewed certainty; able to plan for the next five years confident of guaranteed budget increases.
The NHS is now working on a plan setting out our ambitions for improvement over the next decade, and our plans to meet them over the five years of the funding settlement.
As part of that process it is vital that all those who rely on and work in or alongside the NHS have the opportunity to contribute their ideas, experiences and insights.
To find out more and to take part click here.