How and Why Has the Nhs Changed Since Its Inception

1834 Words8 Pages
How and why has the NHS changed since its inception? The National Health Service (NHS) in Britain is the only service which looks after the whole population. The sheer size of the NHS employs over 1 million people and represents a variety of professions; it is the largest employer in the country (Ham, 1995). Since it was founded in 1948 it has been through many changes, each aimed at keeping expenditures low whilst at the same time improving the value of care provided to the public. Changes in government leaders and results from reports carried out regarding the operation of the NHS are often the contributing factor to what changes have been made and why (Ham, 1995). Healthcare dates back to 1601 when the Poor law act was first introduced. The aim of this act was to provide relief for individuals who were in need of healthcare, food and clothing, this relief was provided by local parishes ( In 1834 the Poor law act was updated and access to treatment was only available inside the workhouse which was very unattractive, many did not seek relief because of these conditions (Wood). Healthcare did not begin to improve until the 1929 Local Government health act which transferred workhouses and infirmaries to the local authorities with the intention to accommodate the sick and develop local authority hospitals. This was one of the first steps towards creating the NHS (Ham, 2004). In 1942 the Beveridge report was released with five ideas to abolish poverty. One of these ideas was to create a health service which would be free for all citizens to use. The aim of this report was to help abolish disease and allow the poorer communities to receive adequate healthcare in a clean setting (Wood, 2002). The Labour government took the Beveridge report very seriously and began to introduce the policies it had
Open Document