SEVENTY years ago something happened in Britain which was to change the course of every life in this country - the NHS was born.

Championed by Labour Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan, the NHS rapidly made gains for the people who needed it most.

Overnight, people found themselves able to obtain the healthcare they needed - rather than the healthcare they could merely afford - and it transformed the nation, improving maternity and obstetric care, health outcomes and life expectancy.

To commemorate this momentous anniversary, the Bournemouth Echo will be publishing a number of features about our local NHS over the next 12 months; its hospitals and healthcare units, its staff and, of course, the patients - the people who benefitted from NHS care.

If you were a nurse, doctor or healthcare worker in the early days of the NHS, please get in touch. If you were a porter at the old Royal Victoria Hospital in Boscombe or if you were a paramedic; if you worked in the kitchens or helped with TB screening or to vaccinate against polio, tell us about that, too. Doctors, dentists, district nurses - tell us your stories. If you were one of the first local NHS babies, please contact us. More importantly, if your life was saved by the NHS here in Dorset, please let us know.

We're looking for moving stories, funny stories and amazing stories and nostalgic pictures and the chance to hear how the NHS has helped you. Maybe your child received a cochlear implant and the gift of sound? Or perhaps your life was saved after an horrific car crash? If you were a nurse or doctor, what did seeing lives saved by the MRI scanner or new cancer drugs mean to you?

We all know that sometimes, things go wrong with the NHS and that issues such as the proposed merger between Poole and Bournemouth's NHS services - which will be in the news this year - are controversial. But #NHS70 is a chance to celebrate everything that's right with this great British institution. We know we can't include every story - but we'll do our best.

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Or write to Daily Echo, Richmond Hill, BH2 6HH