People's History of the NHS

Latest Entries from the Encyclopaedia

Petitions and the NHS

On 27th February 2017, the Government debated an e-petition which had received 117,344 signatures through the Parliamentary website.  The petition noted that there are 193 attacks on NHS staff per day in England, and called for it to become a specific offence to attack a member of NHS staff, in line with legislation specifically prohibiting violence against police officers.  Following

Organ Donation, a cultural history

The funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2016, as chosen by a panel of critics for Dave TV channel, was, ‘My dad suggested I register for a donor card, he’s a man after my own heart’ (told by Masai Graham). The first week of September is Organ Donation Week, an annual drive organised by NHS Blood and Transplant to


When Richard Titmuss was being treated for cancer at the Westminster Hospital in around 1973, he recalled that he took with him John Rawls’ recent book A Theory of Justice. The serious reading matter is no surprise. Titmuss was a Professor of Social Policy and arguably the key intellectual theorist of Britain’s welfare state and NHS. In practice, he found

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Memories of a ‘free’ health service

I've spent more than a decade answering a question my Nan asked me. When I was a History student and told her I was studying the social and welfare history of her own childhood, she recounted what was asked of her as a small child between the wars when her father was sick – walking from the east of Bristol to the

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What’s cultural about the NHS?

The Centre for the History of Medicine at our home institution of Warwick University invited us to speak to them about the work we’re doing with the People’s History and in our more traditional academic guise on the Cultural History of the NHS project. Mathew and Roberta, the Co-Principal Investigators, topped and tailed the panel, but it was primarily a showcase for the

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