The NHS at 70 (Paperback)
A Living History
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At midnight on 5th July 1948, the National Health Service was born with the founding principal to be free at the point of use and based on clinical need rather than on a person’s ability to pay. Seventy years since its formation, these core principals still hold true, although the world we now live in is a very different place to the post war era in which it was formed, and the long term sustainability of the service in its current form is questionable.
This book traces the history of our health service, from Victorian healthcare in the early 20th century, through a timeline of change to the current day, comparing the problems and illnesses of 1948 to those we face seventy years later. Politics, funding, and healthcare systems around the world are demystified and we present case studies, views and snapshots from history from people who have experienced our changing NHS.
In the 1930s and 1940s, dentures were popular wedding or birthday presents. Patients had all their teeth out to avoid multiple, costly, painful trips to the dentist.John Illman, Medical Journalists' Association
This may seem a bizarre way to begin a review about a book on the first 70 years of the NHS, but in its first nine months the NHS provided 33 million sets of dentures. It seemed everyone wanted a pair, if not two or three. (The population in 1948 was 49.4 million, meaning that, on average, more than half the population had false teeth.)
They came free — a dramatic expression of the triumph for the social ideal that underpinned the NHS – treatment free at the time of use. Ellen Welch, a GP and cruise ship doctor, reports that in the giddy early days, dentists saw over 100 patients a day. Many had to be turned away even though surgeries were open seven days a week. By the end of the NHS’s first year, many dentists were earning £4000 a year, compared to £1,400 immediately before, almost double the average GP salary.
Congratulations to Ellen Welch for highlighting early NHS dentistry in this way. There is perhaps no better example of health service abuse.
Read full review here
Listed in 'Books of the month' featureLets Talk!, October 2018
...well written and researched...NZ Crown Mines
The District Nurse A Pictorial History (Paperback)
For 150 years, up and down the country, from large cities to rural areas and the remotest islands and highlands, district nurses have been visiting the sick in their own homes. Here they have provided healthcare, and given moral support and advice to people of all ages the length and breadth of Britain. Follow the story of how, in the 1860s, the Liverpool philanthropist William Rathbone VI set up an experiment in home nursing in his home city, aimed at providing care for the poor who had no access to proper medical attention. His scheme resulted in the establishment of district nursing as a profession,…By Susan Cohen
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