‘Merrie Islington’ to ‘the contagion of numbers’
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‘Merrie Islington’ to ‘the contagion of numbers’ book
Primary health care, provided locally by generalists, meeting common everyday needs and being directly available has always existed, even if its appearance has changed over time. The level of poverty concerned many of the more fortunate, who were benefiting from London’s economic success. Private philanthropy led to the establishment of voluntary dispensaries: one was established in Finsbury in 1780 and one in Islington in 1821. Until 1800 inhabitants of the crowded City depended on ‘merrie Islington’ for fresh air and ‘medicinal’ waters to maintain and restore their health, while its almshouses provided sanctuary for the old and infirm, and its private madhouses provided seclusion and respite for those deemed to be mentally ill. Leave Spa Green by the gate at the end and continue straight on along Green Terrace. The Finsbury Plan adopted by the socialist council in the 1930s envisaged a health centre alongside public baths, libraries and nurseries.