A Need for Damage Limitation

  • George Pollock


The new integrated hospital and community health services were, as mentioned in the previous chapter, to be provided by an “Area Health Authority,” the territory covered to be coterminous with that of the matching local authority. This approach had only a limited existence, as it was found to be unwieldy (some said unworkable), and it was therefore replaced in due course by the concept of a District Health Authority (DHA), covering a population of around 200,000–300,000 and forming a natural unit of a District General Hospital (DGH) along with its catchment population, served by linked community health services. In the run-up to NHS reorganisation, the Government and relevant representatives of the medical profession had agreed a new staffing structure for doctors who had, up to that point, held senior positions in the public health service or in hospital administration, following the recommendations of the Hunter Report (Department of Health and Social Security 1972). From April 1974 these doctors were to members of a new specialty to be known as “community medicine”—the rationale being that these “community physicians” (the career grade to be that of “specialist in community medicine,” one of whom would be the Medical Officer for Environmental Health—the MOEH) would bring their diagnostic professional skills to determining the health problems of populations rather than those of individual patients. “Treatment” and “prevention,” for example, would be represented by the organised actions taken to tackle these problems, or the provision of community services of a preventive or screening nature such as childhood immunisation and cervical cytology.


Medical Officer Communicable Disease District General Hospital Lassa Fever Chief Medical Officer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Pollock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Health and EpidemiologyUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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