On July 5th 1948. A historic event in British history occurred. An acumination of a bold and pioneering plan, to make healthcare no longer exclusive to those who could afford it, but yet make it accessible to everyone. This was the day the NHS was born. The national health service, was launched by the, then minister of health, Anurin Bevin, at the park hospital in Manchester. The motivation to provide a good, strong and reliable healthcare to all, was finally taking its first steps.
These ideas can be traced back to the early 1900’s. With the minority report of the royal commission on the “poor law” in 1909. Beatrice Webb was the head of the report. The Poor law had to be replaced and Webb argued for a new system. Which was still in existence, from the times in the workhouse within the Victorian era. There was many who agreed and disagreed with the new report. The liberal Government disregarded many ideas. Although not everyone ignored the new found report. Dr Benjamin Moore, was a Liverpool physician with a pioneering vision for the future of healthcare. His ideas where written in the “dawn of the health age” and he was probably on of the first to use the phrase “National Health Service”. His ideas led him to create the State Medical Service Association.
abit of history
When someone found themselves to be unwell, before the NHS, Patients were expected to pay for treatements. In some cases local authorities ran hospitals for the local rate payers. An approach originating “the poor law”. By 1929 the local government act amounted to local authorities running services, which provided medical treatment for everyone.
On 1st April 1930, the London Country Council then took over responsibility for around 140 hospitals, medical schools and other institutions after the abolition of the metropolitan asylums board. By 1941, the Ministry of health was in the process of agreeing a post-war health policy. With the aim, that services would be available to the entire general public. A recommendation for comprehensive health and rehabilitation services which was supported across the House of Commons by all parties. Eventually the cabinet endorsed the White Paper put forward by the minister of health Henry Willink in 1944. Which set out the guidelines for the NHS.
what was next?
everyone was entitled to treatment including visitors to the country and it would be provided for free at the time. These ideas were taken on by the next health minister Anurin Bevin. The project finally took hold when Clemet Attlee, came to power in 1945. Furthermore Anurin Bevin became health minister. It was Bevin who embarked on the campaign to bring about the NHS in the form we are familiar with today.
when was it finalised?
This project was said to be based on three ideas. Which Beven expressed in the launch on the 5th of July 1948. These essential values were, firstly, that the services helped everyone, secondly healthcare was free and finally, that care would be provided based on need rather than ability to pay. Since then the NHS has gone through many changes, improvement, updates and modernisation. No-one back in 1948 would have been able to foresee, the way in which the NHS developed, succeeded, pioneered as well as expanded.
the new nhs
As the years rolled by. New changes were made. And reorganisation occurred in 1974. As the period of economic optimism which had characterized the earlier decade; Which was beginning to wane. By the 1980s modern methods of management were introduced. 73 years later the NHS is still going strong. The creation of the National Health Service will forever mark an amazing time in British history
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