Pubic Health


Roman Period -250 BC - 500AD

Roman empire concentrated on keeping the army healthy.

They introduced:

Hospitals, aqueducts, sewage systems and toilets.

Aquedcuts supplied fresh water to cities. They were huge collosal structures which would have costed a lot of money which shows the empire was willing to spend monet on public health, which shows they had a sense of the importance. 

Bath houses were open to anyone and the Romans encouraged the public to use them to keep clean. Again, maintanence and introduction would have costed alot of money.

Sewage systems were first introduced in the Roman towns, they were complex structures but only some towns had the privallege of having them

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Medieval public health - 500 AD- 1500 AD.

Major regress after the Roman empire collapsed. The streets we filthy from dung and animals. Houses were made of wood and clay and were very close together, making disease spreading very easy. 

They did however introduce gongfermers. And towards the end of the era one hospital was built in London. Rich people, royalty, burshed teeth, used napkins and very occaisonaly bathed. The poorer people had ot go to the toilet of of windows and left the waste on the streets. 

The black death came in 1348. There were many irrational ideas of how the plague arrived in England. Theories were: Miasmas, bodys humours were out of place, movement of the sun and planet and finally god and the devil.



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Renaissance public health 1500 - 1750

No major improvemetns from the middle ages. Streets were filthy and there was rarely governemtn intervention. However  measures were introduced to get rid of the plague. For example: 

Examiners and searchers wer hired to identify infected houses

These infected houses were shut for a month, and had crosses on them. Watch men would make sure no one escaped these houses

Dead people were only buried at night with no one around.

Stray animals were killed.



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Early 19th century public health 1800 - 1850

During the 19th century, many towns grew rapidly which decreased life expectancy rapidly, especially with the poorer population which had to take care of themselves. 

In 1832 the cholera epidemic came, prompted the government to act. Chadwick published a report in 1842 which underliined that the working class were living in horrid conditions. Chadwick argued that if towns were cleaner, less people would take time off work and less people would have diseases.  This inspired improvements.

In 1847 the first public health act was introduced. At first it was declined by the parties that were for 'laissez faire'. They argued it would cost too much money.And it wasnt worth it. It was passed when cholera came back in 48. 

The health act encouraged sewage systems and the board of health to have medical officers. Water systems were also imporved

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Late 19th century public health 1850 - 1900

In 1858, Octavia Hill started to set up shools and housing for people who lived in terrible conditions. She did this right up to her death in 1912. 

John Snow realised cholera was a water born disease. Not everyone excpetd his views, until Pasteurs germ theory in 61. 

In 1853, the small pox vaccine, created by Jenner, was made compulsory for the public. 

In 1875 another public health act was published. It meant that slums were abolished and that sewage systems were introduced and that the clean water system was improved. 

Overalll, from 1850 to 1900 further government interventions were introduced which was showing that the government cared about the public health. Also the germ theory in 1861 proved vital in preventing cholera from spreading.

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Twentieth century public health 1900 - 2000

Rountree and Booth influenced these reforms:

-1906, provision of free school meals

-1907, shool medical inspections

-1909, old age pesnion act

-1909, labour exchanges for the unemployed to find work

-1911, national insurance act ( sick pay).

In 1941, Beveridge was asked to suggest ways in which to help the government. in 1942, he published the Beveridge report which stated that it was the governments responsibility to look after all members of society. It also stated that cities had the right to be free from: need, disease, ignorance, dirtiness, laziness. Churchill agreed but thought it would be too expensive.

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More on ' twentieth century public health'

In 1948, the NHS was introduced. The state took over doctors and hospitals, and health care was free for all. 

Aneurin Bevan was  a politician for the labour party and is beleived to have spearheaded the NHS's establishment, on the 5th July 1948.

Problems with the NHS over recent years have been things such as price, the slippery slope, wages and availibility. 

Other measures in the 20th century were: free school milk in 1934, the 1956 clean air act nd the 1980 black report which revealed further secrets about the differance in conditions between the rich and the poor.

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Public health dates - 500AD - 1847

500AD: Roman empire collapses

1328: The black death arrives in England

1665: Government intervention to try and stop plague

1832: Cholera epidemic

1840's : William Farr recorded all the births, death and marriages.

1842: Chadwick responsible for first public health act

1847: Public health act

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Dates on public health - 1854 - 1948

1854: John Snow found that cholera was water born and discoverd the source of the disease

1861: Pasteur germ theory enabled Snow's discovery to have evidence.

1860 - 1912: Octavia Hill set up schools and housing for the poorer classes in England

1899: Rountree and Booth sat with Lloyd George to discuss the liberal reforms which were then introduced in 1906.

1942: Beverdige published the Beveridge report which alerted Churchill

1948: NHS introduced, spear headed by Bevan

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