National Health Service: A Political History by C Webster

By C Webster

The root of the nationwide healthiness carrier on five July 1948 was once a momentous improvement within the background of the uk. Webster's political heritage is a wholly new and unique exam of the NHS from its inception via to its administration less than the 1st time period of the present Labour executive, offering the required framework for assessing its destiny as we input the hot millennium.

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Anticipating this extraordinary sense of therapeutic optimism, in  the Oxford regional commissioners had already referred to the ‘growing consciousness, both within and without the medical profession, that our Hospitals, of which we are rightly proud, should spread their influence over a still wider sphere’. 40 Arguably the greatest permanent achievement of the early NHS was its rapid establishment of a universal specialist and consultant service. Even by  there existed the nucleus of a comprehensive district general hospital system, with specialist staff sufficient at least for providing basic cover in general medicine, general surgery, and obstetrics and gynaecology.

Indeed, quite the opposite scare took hold. There certainly existed a greater measure of political agreement, giving expression to a great deal of vacuous rhetoric, but the politicians neither guaranteed the patrimony of the new health service, nor offered effective leadership over policies relating to health and health care. For the most part, the situation between  and  was characterized by resource starvation and policy neglect. 36 This objective was by no means easy to attain. Under the NHS legislation a high level of responsibility rested on the minister with respect to policy and finance.

The New Plan for Health Bevan’s mature proposals represented a mixture of audacity and prudence. In some respects they were slightly less radical than the scheme originally contemplated in . Unification of all health services under a single system of administration was regarded as impracticable and was abandoned in favour of the tripartite scheme already implicit in the plan inherited from the caretaker administration. The decision to adopt different forms of administration for hospitals, public health, and independent-contractor services represented a concession to the local authorities and the independent contractors, who were promised continuity of their existing forms of administration, which of course also possessed the additional     advantage of saving planners from wrestling with big administrative changes on too many fronts simultaneously.

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