chapter  2
22 Pages

Establishing the NHS

TheNationalHealthService(NHS)cameintooperationon5July 1948followingtheNHSActof1946.Theeventmarkedtheend ofaperiodofdiscussionandnegotiationwhichbeganin1942. Althoughtherewasgeneralagreementinthewaryearsonthe needforanationalserviceavailabletoeveryonefundedfrom taxationandhierarchicallyorganisedaroundmedicalservices, therewasdisagreementonthemeansforachievingthis.Asthe endofthewarcameinsight,thesedifferencesgrewandgroups, particularlywithinthemedicalprofession,pursuedtheirvested interests.ThesteeringoftheNHSBillthroughParliamentandthe eventualagreementbythemajorityofdoctorstojointheservice wasamajorpoliticalachievementfortheMinisterofHealth ofthe1945Labourgovernment,AneurinBevan.Hissuccess reflectedabroadconsensusofpublicandpoliticalopinionwithin thecountryforanationalhealthservice.