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The Development of Health Care Provision in Britain - Essay Example

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The Development of Health Care Provision in Britain.
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Provision in early history, the middles ages and into the 19th century.
Reasons the NHS finally came into being.
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The Development of Health Care Provision in Britain
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Download file to see previous pages In Roman times doctors were often Greeks and might belong to a private family as well as acting as general practitioners. There were also doctors and medical assistant attached to the invading Roman army. Even in families where there was no doctor some member of the household would have acquired some necessary medical knowledge:-. Unwashed wool supplies very many remedies…..it is applied….with honey to old sores. Wounds it heals if dipped in wine or vinegar….yolks of eggs….are taken for dysentery with the ash of their shells, poppy juice and wine. It is recommended to bathe the eyes with a decoction of the liver.(Pliny, 1st century C.E.) There would also be wise women, often herbalists. The History of Hospitals and Health Care in Britain This situation would have continued until the Middle Ages when the very first hospitals appeared, driven by Christian convictions, and founded as religious institutions. St Bartholomew’s Hospital, in central London, was founded in the 12th century by a monk. These religious foundations were based upon ideas taken from the gospels, as in Matthew chapter 9 where there are several examples of Jesus caring for the sick. . By the time of Elizabeth I the state was beginning to play its part. In response to the increasing number of vagrants and wandering jobless an act of 1601 set up the first poor houses, and these would have included at least minimal care for the sick and mentally fragile who were also poor (Bloy, 2002). Local taxes were used to support such ventures. It was in the 18th century that many of today’s larger British medical institutions came into being as voluntary hospitals. At first these were in long established cities such as London and Edinburgh. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution newly burgeoning cities such as Manchester also opened hospitals. These were funded by private contributions. Specialist hospitals such as those dedicated to maternity care, and eye hospitals, also opened. Asylums were under the care of local authorities (Voluntary Hospitals Database, undated). At this time though nursing training was rudimentary . It was only with the threat of various wars , including the Crimean War and the First World War, that the need for formal training became obvious. In 1911 the National Insurance Act became law. This is an important stage in the founding of a welfare state, and it resulted in care being provided for many people . There were many schemes to help poorer people to pay for their care. In Birmingham the Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund was begun in 1873 by a local clergyman (BHSF Undated) .The fund was one of several from various parts of the United Kingdom and continued into the days of the National Health Service when, for the payment of a few pence weekly, people could ensure a place in a convalescent home after an illness. The aims of the organisation today are still to provide convalescence, but also to invest in medical research. Meanwhile richer people continued to visit private clinics or to have doctors visit them at home. The majority voluntary hospitals and schemes later became incorporated into the National Health Service, which was initiated by the Labour government in 1948, based upon an ideal of good health care being made accessible to all, whatever their situation in life. According to Rivett (Undated) this principle had been in existence for at least a century, with many individual initiatives, and the London County Council even wanting to provide its own hospitals, but not enough had been done to make it a reality. In I920, soon after the end of the First World W ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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