chapter  6
21 Pages

Explaining and reappraising the 1962 Hospital Plan Reorganising the British economy: moves towards long-term

The Hospital Plan for England and Wales has generally had a good press. With the parallel plan for Scotland, it remains the most significant declaration by a government of its intention of modernising the acute hospital system. The Plan proposed a national network of large-scale hospitals which would provide, for defined catchment populations, the normal range of acute hospital services. District General Hospitals (DGHs), of a minimum size of 600-800 beds, would serve populations of 100,000-150,000. The logic of the Plan is perhaps best captured by the following: ‘the district general hospital offers the most practicable method of placing the full range of hospital facilities at the disposal of patients and this consideration far outweighs the disadvantages of longer travel for some patients and their visitors’ (Ministry of Health 1962a: 6 – emphasis added).