People's History of the NHS

Latest Entries from the Encyclopaedia

Literature and the NHS – Powerful Words

The NHS holds a profound power over British national consciousness, and can inspire deeply-felt loyalties, convictions and responses from the public that it seeks to serve, and those that serve it. This is evident when turning to the many different representations of the NHS, and literature clearly forms a complex part of such cultural representations. Literature can tell us a

X-Rays in Culture: From Courting Skeletons to X-Ray Eyes

This encyclopaedia entry looks at the changing relationship between clinical and cultural representations of x-rays from 1895 until the present day, encompassing courting skeletons, frogs’ knees, floral radiography, x-ray eyes and more. . . . By the introduction of the NHS in 1948, x-ray technology had improved substantially from its first uses in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,

Philip Larkin and the NHS

To find a pair of Philip Larkin’s glasses – and some of his poetry – on display in an NHS hospital might in many ways seem to be a somewhat strange meeting of cultures. Yet in 2012, the Hull and East Yorkshire Eye Hospital made this very decision, exhibiting Larkin’s striking NHS specs in an exhibition that also included his poem ‘Long

Latest Blog post

NHS workers on a National Union of Public Employees demonstration in Salisbury (Wiltshire), 13 December 1972

Ideology and work in the early NHS

Conventionally understood, work is an economic activity driven by the necessity to eat, clothe and house ourselves and our families. For most historians of work, it is also social, concerned with the relationships between people and society, between capital and labour. We tend to expand on the popular idea of work as an economic activity and talk also of working

News & Events

Upcoming events in Leeds!

Our team are heading to Leeds this month for two exciting events held in collaboration with the Thackray Medical Museum! The first is on Saturday 16th July.  Between 10am and 3pm, we will be in a museum gallery holding an ‘NHS Roadshow’.  To get to the Roadshow you will need to purchase a ticket to enter the museum, which can

Get Involved!


Do you have any funny stories about the NHS?

We want to know your funny memories, how they made you feel, and why THAT moment sticks in your mind today! Good or bad, vivid or hazy, tell us all about your memory, or share a picture or object with us. And of course, we still want to hear all your stories, on this topic or others.

You can tell us by leaving a comment under our latest call news update, or you can share your 'funny memories' in our MyNHS members area.

Sign up below and become a member!

... or
Sitewide Search

Visit The Galleries

Search for Objects in the Museum

Twitter Feed

The information is provided by us and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. We only capture and store personal information with the prior consent of users. Any personal information collected as part of the user registration process or the submission of material (including, but not limited to, name, address, e-mail address) will be stored securely on Warwick University servers, and accessible only to members of the Cultural History of the NHS project team. We will not sell, license or trade your personal information to others. We do not provide your personal information to direct marketing companies or other such organizations. These opinions do not necessarily represent those of Warwick University or the Wellcome Trust.