The National Health Service

A Political History
Author(s): 
Webster, Charles
ISBN: 
0192892967
Date published: 
April 1998
Paperback
Price: 
£10.99
Pages: 
256

The National Health Service was established at a time when health care in the United Kingdom was desperately in need of improvement. This book looks at the political decisions surrounding its foundation and the purpose which it was intended to serve. Despite many changes of political ethos since its foundation on 5 July 1948, every government has declared its intention to maintain and improve the National Health Service. Nevertheless, the Na tional Health Service has faced some almost cyclical problems, while apparently new ideas (for example, the introduction of a chief executive) in fact have a long ancestry, and there is a drift towards a seemingly endless pattern of reorganization. Charles Webster's narrative concentrates on policy issues of major import to the patient and consumer including funding, resources, and health issues, as well as recognizing the achievements and limitations of this major national institution. In addition to concentrating on the last fifty years, he looks ahead to the future of the NHS, suggesting that a Royal Commission be set up to make a thorough investigation of the organization and structure of the service, and to suggest a way forward into the twenty-first century.

The National Health Service was established at a time when health care in the United Kingdom was desperately in need of improvement. This book begins by looking at the political decisions surrounding the foundation of the NHS on 5 July 1948 and the purpose which it was intended to serve. Although every government since has declared its intention to maintain and improve it, the NHS has been faced with almost cyclical problems. Charles Webster's narrative concentrates on policy issues of major import to the patient and consumer including funding, resources, and health issues, as well as recognizing the achievements and limitations of this major national institution. In addition to concentrating on the last fifty years, he looks ahead to the future of the NHS, suggesting that a Royal Commission be set up to make a thorough investigation of the organization and structure of the service, and to suggest a way forward into the twenty-first century.

Published for the 50th anniversary of its founding -- a major new political history of the National Health Service