People's History of the NHS

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Inside GP Surgeries

GP surgeries have varied in appearance and decoration. Reports from the immediate post-war period criticised some GP surgeries as dark, dingy, and lacking in space and materials. However, 'Health Centres', clean and modern spaces with doctors, dentists, and nurses all housed under one roof, also developed in the 1950s, for example in the New Town of Harlow. The equipment stored within GP surgeries has changed with the increasing responsibility on GPs for preventive and diagnostic medicine, and the development of new medical and information communication technologies. (JC)

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  1. Just came across a relevant quote on the space and emotional feelings of waiting rooms from The Times, September 1949. The paper reports that Dr Cardew of the Medical Practitioners Union argues that, “anyone who visited the “scruffy” surgeries and gloomy waiting-rooms and observed the overworked conditions of the average practitioner would know that these things affected the patient intimately.”

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