About the website
The People’s History of the NHS allows you to help us research what the NHS means and how it has shaped our lives since its creation. It is part of our bigger academic project investigating the cultural history of the NHS, funded by the Wellcome Trust. Collecting personal stories and memories about the NHS is one of our central objectives.
The MyNHS members’ area is our main tool for collecting your memories. Once you sign up, you’ll be able to share your recollections of the NHS and read those shared by others. Sometimes we will ask for your stories on particular aspects of the NHS, but we are always eager to hear any memories you’d like to share. Click here to share now.
The People’s Encyclopaedia is where you’ll find short entries on a variety of everyday, overlooked and eccentric subjects in the history of the NHS. These draw on both our research and your suggestions – submit yours.
The Virtual Museum is where you’ll find our collection of images, objects and artefacts related to the NHS, grouped together in themed galleries. We’re always interested to hear about new items, so tell us about yours.
In the real world we’re running a series of public events and visits to local history and community groups, talking with them about the history of the NHS and what it has meant to them. You can find out more about our visits here.
We’re also running a survey of people’s experiences working for the NHS, which you can download here. It should take around 30 minutes to fill in and can then be returned to us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to People’s History of the NHS, c/o Professor Roberta Bivins, Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick, CV4 7AL.
Find out more
For further details of the university research project click here.
On what we do with anything you share with us see our Project Information Sheet.
For anything else our Frequently Asked Questions page may have the answer.
About the team
This website is run by the research team of the Cultural History of the NHS project at the University of Warwick.
Roberta Bivins is a historian of medicine and migration. She is looking at how the NHS has (or has not?) helped to make British society more inclusive and equal. She is also interested in how the history of the NHS can help to inform its future.
Rosemary Cresswell is a historian of health and humanitarianism from 1850 to 2020. She is particularly interested in infectious disease and emergency medicine. She is responsible for the project’s website and archiving resources.
Hannah Elizabeth is a cultural historian of health, emotions, and activism in 20th and 21st century Britain, with particular interests in histories of childhood, sexuality, and HIV. Their current research investigates 1990s lesbian health activism and experiences within the NHS.
Jane Hand is a historian of visual images and public health in postwar Britain, working on health education and citizenship in the NHS.
Mathew Thomson is a historian of twentieth-century Britain. He has worked on the histories of psychiatry, psychology and childhood. He is currently writing a cultural history of the NHS.
Associate Team Members
Gareth Millward is a historian of the post-war British welfare state researching the use of “sick notes” in employment, heath and social security policy. His previous research projects focused on disability and vaccination.
Christopher Sirrs is a historian of medicine and health, currently researching the history of safety in NHS general hospitals from c.1960 to the present. For further information please visit https://hazardoushospitals.com.
Former Team Members
Andrew Burchell is a historian of medicine in twentieth-century Britain. His work on the NHS project used the Mass-Observation Project Archive to unlock historical memories of the NHS and to examine experiences of mental health.
Jennifer Crane is a historian of activism in twentieth century Britain, and is researching how campaign groups have praised, criticised, used and shaped the NHS. She is also jointly responsible for the team’s public engagement activities.
George Campbell Gosling is a historian of medicine, charity and money in modern Britain. He is looking into NHS charges, fundraising and the idea of a ‘free’ health service.
Natalie Jones is a visual artist and literary scholar, looking into cultural representations of the NHS. She is also jointly responsible for the team’s public engagement activities.
Jack Saunders is a historian of work and workplace culture in post-war Britain and is researching the experiences and changing attitudes of NHS staff.