People's History of the NHS

Latest Entries from the Encyclopaedia

Mental Health

A significant interest in something called mental health, not just mental illness, can be dated back in Britain to the interwar years. In other words, it was not a product of the new National Health Service. Indeed, hope that the new service might provide the opportunity for a vigorous state programme directed at mental health met disappointment. Recognition of the

Representation: Who gets a say in the NHS?

The question of who gets a say in how the health service is run was a controversial question from its foundation. Should staff be allowed to help decide the NHS’ priorities? How should patients’ views be treated? What weight should the opinions of local and national government have? What about citizens? In setting up the service the 1945 Labour Government

Scotland and the National Health Service

Guest encyclopaedia entry by Professor John Stewart. Pictured: Lord (John) Boyd Orr of Brechin (1880-1971).   The National Health Service (NHS) is often, and quite rightly, cited as one of the institutions which make people most proud to be British. Nonetheless within the United Kingdom there is not one NHS, but rather three. When the post-war Labour government was building the welfare

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Charity and the NHS Choir

The 2015 Christmas No.1 single was ‘A Bridge Over You’, a medley of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘A Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’. It was sung by the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS hospital trust choir when they were featured on a BBC TV show with celebrity choirmaster Gareth Malone, but revived by the choir a couple of years

News & Events

NHS Team in the News!

Professor Roberta Bivins and Dr Jack Saunders from our team recently featured on BBC One’s Inside Out programme.  They discussed how our team have worked in archives – such as the Modern Records Centre, Coventry – and with local communities, including the social enterprise Health Exchange, to take a closer look at 70 years of the National Health Service in

Get Involved!

Giving gifts is an overlooked aspect of the everyday history of the NHS. The bag of grapes or magazine brought in for the patient. The bunch of flowers or box of chocolates for the nurses. The get well card and the thank you card. Even the sponsored half-marathon to give something back.

These are all everyday rituals in the NHS. They are part of its lived history yet never feature in its written history. Help us change that by completing our short survey on gift-giving in the NHS or by signing up below and become a member and share more memories.

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