People's History of the NHS

Latest Entries from the Encyclopaedia

Health For The People (1955)

The National Health Service has long been a rich source of inspiration for media of all sorts, from radio discussion programmes to documentaries to fiction. Prominent examples for the first decade include the regular BBC series, Your Life in Their Hands, which ran from 1958 to 1964, and focused on surgery in the NHS. Around the same time, there was

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

Latest Blog post

70 years of Autism, and what’s changed?

  Guest blog kindly provided by Yvonne Newbold; a writer, speaker and trainer who is also the mother to three children, including Toby who is multiply disabled with profound learning disabilities.  Get in touch with Yvonne @YvonneNewbold, or see her website here.     When my mother left Dublin in 1946, just before her 18th birthday, to come to England to start

News & Events

‘Keep this page for reference!’: Early newspaper clipping about the NHS

We have recently received photos of many exciting NHS-related items, sent to us via twitter and also by email (  We have seen mugs to celebrate new IT systems (who knew that was a thing?), old staff ID badges, and photos of protests and placards from years gone by.  We’ll be writing more about these wonderful objects, but today will

Get Involved!

We know that the NHS touches all our lives -- but can we find traces of that all-encompassing, 'cradle to grave' care in all our homes? We'd like to see if the NHS is in YOUR house, and if so, what it looks like. You can see what we found in our own homes in the gallery, and add your own pictures, stories and 'NHS in my house' selfies below. We can't wait to see them! Our virtual museum of the NHS is now officially collecting...

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