People's History of the NHS

Latest Entries from the Encyclopaedia

Premature Birth and the NHS

The history of the NHS is deeply embedded within personal histories of birth. It is often a central figure in bringing both ourselves, and our children, safely into the world. While most births occur close to their due date, there are times when NHS neonatal services are essential in ensuring premature newborns not only survive but begin to thrive in

Humour and the NHS: Is ‘laughter the best medicine’? Is NHS policy a ‘sick joke’?

The history of the NHS is full of a range of emotions, feelings and meanings: including moments of laughter and humour.  Jokes were shared between staff, patients, and families, through conversations, letters, diaries, and drawings, and at bedsides and even in board meetings.  Humour was used to celebrate and to criticise the NHS, through political speeches, artwork, novels, and in

Party Political Manifestos

See our virtual museum gallery on political posters What kind of insight do party political manifestos offer for a People’s History of the NHS? In the 2015 election, political commentators raised the question of who actually reads these sprawling documents. It’s a fair point. Nevertheless, analysis of the language and content of the party manifestos that accompanied the 19 general

Latest Blog post

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary 1950

Working for the NHS

As an institution the National Health Service has had a profound social and cultural impact. For everyone living in Britain the establishment of the NHS has helped shape both our experiences of health and our ideas about society. But for some groups, the importance of their relationship with the NHS seems to be more profound. People with disabilities often note

News & Events

Latest Call: Tell Us Your NHS Jokes!

Inspired by April Fools’ Day, for the next couple of weeks we’re asking you to tell us your funny memories or jokes related to the NHS.  From its inception, humour has been mapped onto the political, cultural, and social changes related to the NHS.  Artists drew cartoons which satirised, criticised, and ultimately publicised initial opposition to the NHS from the British Medical

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.

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