Generations of patients in Edinburgh and across Lothian have benefited from the high standards of care provided by the National Health Service, which was founded in 1948.
Six decades on, the NHS remains committed to its founding principles - providing health care free at the point of delivery, caring for patients irrespective of their social background or their financial circumstances.
Yet, in spite of the long history of the health service, NHS Lothian is still a relatively young organisation. It was established in 2001 as the 'umbrella' organisation for all Lothian health services, with strategic planning and leadership provided by Lothian NHS Board.
The unified board was tasked with breaking down the artificial barriers that had existed between the former health authority, Lothian Health, and the region's three former NHS trusts - Lothian University Hospitals, Lothian Primary Care and West Lothian Healthcare.
The dissolution of the three trusts in 2003-2004 means that a single health authority now oversees the planning and delivery of all the region's local health services.
Through this stream-lined 'single system' model of working - which we are evolving continually - we aim to improve services for our patients and provide greater satisfaction for our staff.