People's History of the NHS

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Waiting in the NHS

This gallery was made by the 'Cultural History of the NHS' students at the University of Warwick, in a session led by our team members Jenny Crane and Jane Hand. Interestingly, when asked to think of an object that represented the NHS for them, several members of our group thought about waiting and waiting rooms. This shows that early post-war concerns about queues and overdemand on the Service continue to inflect our cultural perceptions. Nonetheless, for these students at least, the ingrained assumption of waiting in the NHS had not necessarily damaged their overall affection for this institution.

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2 thoughts on “Sexual health clinic waiting room

  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.”

  2. When I was a child near the inception of the NHS the only waiting I remember was in the local GP’s waiting room. No appointment necessary, you turned up saw the Secretary and waited to be called. Now waiting for me is queuing outside the practice at eight o’clock on a cold and damp morning in order to be early in the queue of twenty odd people when the practice opens its doors at 8.30. This is the only way to ensure that one can get an appointment with a GP. Disgusting!

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