GCSE History MEDICINE -- 1900s

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The National Insurance Act

  • Set up in 1911
  • Workers earning less that £160 a year were expected to join
  • Contributions were made by employers, workers and the government
  • The act provided free medical treatment and medicine
  • The act also provided sick pay for up to 6 months and support payment for up to 15 weeks if unemployed
  • Women and Children were not covered by the act and so often delayed getting treatment due to the cost
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The Ministry of Health

  • Set up in 1919
  • Gave the Government an overview of health care provision in the whole country
  • Important step in the Government taking responsibility for people's health care
  • However, provision continued to be a mix of private care, local authorities providing some support and many hospitals relying on charity funding
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Government Actions in Improving Public Health

  • Secondary school pupils recieved medical inspections
  • 1934 - free milk for poor primary school children
  • Health clinics gave vaccinations and sold baby food cheaply
  • Many hopsitals were brought under the control of the local authorities
  • 1908 - Old Age Pensions Act
  • 1907 - School Medical Service and health visitors to check on young children
  • 1906 - Free school meals for poor children
  • 1902 - Midwives Act meant all midwives had to be trained and registered
  • Sanatoria were built for peole with TB
  • 1838 - Free immunisation against Diphtheria
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WWII's Effect on Public Health

  • Raised awareness on the effect of poverty on health
  • Many disovered evacuees from towns were not used to running water or toilets
  • Evacuees often had lice, nits or skin infections
  • This created a desire for higher public health standards after the war and the establishment of the NHS
  • The war effetced people's diets, as there were rations on fats, sugars and more
  • People were encouraged ot eat more vegeatbles, having a positive effect on the malnourished poor
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Why the NHS was set up

  • The poverty that evacuees lived in shocked many, creating the want for an improved country with better conditions for all
  • The organisation of hospitals and nurses had worked successfully during the war
  • The Beveridge Report in 1942 identified disease as a problem for the government agter WWII
  • Significant medical breakthroughs meant more could be done for the sick
  • The was more acceptance of the government's role in people's lives by the mid-20th century
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The Role of Aneurin Bevan

  • Bevan was the Minister for Health in the post-war Labour government and had a huge part in the NHS
  • The Beveridge Report suggested that the government improve public health
  • The new Labour government accepted the recommendations and began to plan the NHS
  • Bevan faced opposition from many people, including doctors who did not want to lose income from private patients
  • He publicised his ideas and persuaded patients to ask to be registered under the NHS
  • This pressured doctors to join the NHS or lose patients
  • The NHS was launched in 1948
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What the NHS Provided

  • The taxes used to fund the NHS helped to provide for a wide range of care, significantly improving the accessibility of medical care and facilities and greatly benefiting the poorest in society. Provision included...
  • The right to see a GP and hospital referral
  • Treatment from dentists and opticians
  • Health care for preganat women and young children
  • Ambulances and emergency treatment
  • Health care for the elderly
  • HOWEVER, the NHS cost more than expected, so prescription charges were introduced in 1951
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The Government's Emphasis on Prevention of Illness

  • A deeper understanding of disease and effect of lifestyle led to a wider role for the government, e.g...
  • Vaccine developments, like the polio vaccine in the mid-1950s and the cervical cancer vaccine in 2008
  • Government campaigns and laws on health issues like smoking
  • Promotion of healthy diets
  • Better rubbish disposal and sewage treatment
  • Laws to reduce air and water pollution e.g the 1956 Clean Air Act
  • Laws to improve working conditions e.g health and safety regulations about asbestos in the workplace
  • Environmental health officers to inspect restaurants, cafes etc.
  • Laws on food safety in 1990 after salmonella outbreak etc.
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