Health Care

  • Rodney Lowe


As the initial enthusiasm for social security waned, the NHS quickly became, as it was to remain thereafter, the most popular welfare service. Within three months of its establishment it was being hailed in a Gallup poll as the greatest achievement of the Labour government; and later opinion polls rarely recorded levels of support below 80 per cent. Indeed, so dominant a position did the NHS come to command in popular perceptions of the welfare state that the two terms were commonly regarded as synonymous.1


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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    R. J. Wybrow, Britain Speaks Out, 1937–87 (1989) pp. 25–6; IEA, Choice in Welfare (1965) Appendix A; PEP, Family Needs and the Social Services (1961). The latter recorded: ‘the attitude of mothers towards the social services was enthusiastic rather than critical, but there was not much doubt that this attitude is governed by their enthusiasm for the health services’ (p. 39).Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    H. Eckstein, The English Health Service (Cambridge, Mass., 1958) p. 75. Not all areas saw incipient warfare between local authority and voluntary hospitals. Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester were notable exceptions.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    C. Webster, ‘Conflict and consensus’, Twentieth Century British History, I (1990) 139.Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    D. M. Fox, Health Policies, Health Politics (Princeton, New Jersey, 1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. N. Ginsburg, Divisions of Welfare (1992).Google Scholar
  6. R. J. Wybrow, Britain Speaks Out, 1939–87 (1989) p. 25Google Scholar
  7. PEP, Family Needs and the Social Services (1961) p. 113.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    R. Klein, The New Politics of the NHS (1995) p. 19. The number of beds per 1000 people was 4.9 compared to London’s average of 10.2.Google Scholar
  9. 23.
    C. Webster, The Health Services since the War, vol. 1 (1988) p. 150.Google Scholar
  10. 28.
    C. Webster, The Health Services since the War, vol. 1 (1988) p. 209. The Conservative Party had voted against the 1946 National Health Service Act in Parliament, but on rather different grounds. The Act, it argued, ‘discourages voluntary effort and association; mutilates the structure of local government; dangerously increases ministerial power and patronage; appropriates trust funds and benefactions in contempt of the wishes of donors and subscribers; and undermines the freedom and independence of the medical profession’.Google Scholar
  11. 29.
    B. Watkin, The National Health Service (1978) p. 36;Google Scholar
  12. T. E. Chester, ‘The Guillebaud Report’, Public Administration, 34 (1956) 207.Google Scholar
  13. B. Abel-Smith and R. M. Titmuss, The Cost of the National Health Service in England and Wales (Cambridge, 1956).Google Scholar
  14. 32.
    D. Allen, ‘An analysis of factors affecting the development of the 1962 hospital plan’, Social Policy and Administration, 15 (1981) 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 33.
    B. Watkin, The National Health Service (1978) p. 71. Changing attitudes were of course justified by the changing nature of illness, which permitted planners to reduce between 1948 and 1962 the ideal ratio of beds for acute illness from 6 to 3.1 per 1000 people. For Powell’s own later misgivings, see Medicine and Politics (1966) Ch. 5.Google Scholar
  16. 34.
    H. Glennerster, British Social Policy since 1945 (1995) p. 130.Google Scholar
  17. 37.
    A. Bevan, In Place of Fear (1961 edn) p. 110. For consultants’ rather different view of GPs as the ‘waste product of medical schools’, seeGoogle Scholar
  18. N. Timmins, The Five Giants (1995) p. 218.Google Scholar
  19. F. Honigsbaum, The Division in British Medicine (1979) part 8.Google Scholar
  20. 38.
    P. Hall, ‘The development of health centres’, in P. Hall et al., Change, Choice and Conflict in Social Policy (1975) pp. 299–310.Google Scholar
  21. 43.
    A. Bevan, In Place of Fear (1961) p. 109.Google Scholar
  22. 44.
    E. Powell, Medicine and Politics (1966) p. 16.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Rodney Lowe 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodney Lowe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BristolUK

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