Section A, Question d. Public Health



  • Edwin Chadwick- 1830. Employed by law commissions. Supervised the help that was given to the poor out of local taxes. 
  • Was asked to report on the living conditions and the health of the poor. 
  • His report concluded that poverty was due to ill health caused by foul conditions. 
  • He made the link between poverty and poor health. 
  • Recommended that to improve conditions the government should consider important factors of medical officers and better ventilation. 
  • Helped because made government aware of conditions they were not seeing. Public health acts passed in near future. 
  • William Beveridge- government asked him in 1941 to suggest ways in which the government could help the sick, the unemployed, low-paid workers and retired people. 
  • 1942- Beveridge report published. 
  • He recommended that the governement should provide a welfare state. It was the duty of the government to look aftr all members of society. 
  • He argued that all cities had a right to be free from the 5 giants (want, disease, ignorance, squalor, idleness)
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  • 2nd Major epidemic of Cholera-1848- made the parliament reluctantly approve the Public Health Act of 1848 by local councils raising taxes to provide better public health.
  • Appointed medical officers and boards of health to improve water supply and sewage disposal. 
  • 1847- Cholera spread through Europe.
  • British government were worried about people dying and implanted Chadwick's reccomendations. 
  • Shows that the epidemic made the government more cocerned for its people therefore applied some acts to society to help clear up the streets.
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  • Public Health acts of 1848 and 1875 would not have been applied to society if it wasnt for their power. 
  • No one else would of had the power to make the Public Health Act of 1875 compulsory. 
  • This laid down the duties that were expected of the local council.
  • 1867- gave the working class men the right to vote which meant MP's were more likely to take notice of the needs of the people in their towns and who were mainly the victims of poor public health. 
  • They could say how foul the conditions of the streets were and how it was affecting them meaning the government could implement rules and duties to help these people. 
  • 1911- National Insurance Act
  • Government became increasingly aware of the health problems facing ordinary people.
  • Introduced the national Insurance act.
  • Workers and their employer made weekly contributions to a central fund which was then used to give the workers sickness benefit and free medical care.
  • However, women, children and elderly did not covered by an insurance scheme. 
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  • Roman Period- engineering skills brought pure water into their towns, by building infrastructures called aqueducts.
  • Public toilets were built, sewage was flushed away by running water- drainage system. 
  • Buildings for bath houses meant Romans could bathe and cleanse their bodies.
  • 19th Century- Got rid of miles of open sewers, and replaced them with sewers and water pipes under city streets.
  • The invention of the flushing lavatory. Instead of privies needing to be emptied by hand and spade, it could now be sent down into a sewage network. 
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