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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 December 2007, 08:23 GMT
Bevan hospital name honour call
Aneurin Bevan
Aneurin Bevan helped create the NHS, which began on July 5, 1948.
The 60th anniversary of the NHS in 2008 should be marked by naming hospitals after the man regarded as its founder, an MP has urged.

Livingston MP Jim Devine said it was a matter of national "shame" no major hospital was named after Aneurin Bevan.

He has written to the health secretary in England and ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A new 48m hospital is due to be named after Bevan in Ebbw Vale, which he represented as Labour MP for 31 years.

Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan will provide outpatient services, mental health facilities, ante-natal care and 100 single-bed patient rooms when it opens in 2010 on site of the town's former steelworks.

It has been named after Nye Bevan, who was MP for Ebbw Vale from 1929 until his death.

He was the minister responsible for creating the NHS in 1948.

Bevan's great nephew, Howard Bevan, unveiled the name of the new hospital in 2006 and work is expected to start soon.

Artist's impression of Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan
An artist's impression of Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan in Ebbw Vale

Blaenau Gwent Local Health Board and Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust said it reflected the borough's historic links to the NHS.

Mr Devine, who was a former head of the health service union Unison in Scotland, wants more hospitals to be named after Bevan.

"I knew about the hospital in Wales coming on stream but there needs to be recognition across the UK," he said.

The MP has also called for commemorative badges to be issued to all present and former NHS staff.

"It is to this country's shame that not one major NHS hospital is named after the NHS's founding father, Nye Bevan," said Mr Devine.

"It was Nye's vision and drive that established the NHS in 1948 and this special year, new hospitals and healthcare facilities should be named in his honour."

'Significant milestone'

He said he has written to the Health Secretary Alan Johnston and to health ministers in the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland devolved administrations urging them to honour Bevan.

A Department of Health spokesman said: "The 60th anniversary year marks a significant milestone for the NHS.

"We will be looking at celebrating it in a variety of ways and will consider any suggestions from MPs."

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said no new hospitals were planned for Scotland in 2008 but plans were being made to mark the NHS anniversary.

A spokeswoman for the Welsh Assembly Government said she could not comment on the anniversary but confirmed the new Blaenau Gwent hospital was being named Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan.

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