Reforms to address disease

National Health Service Act 1948

The successes of this were:

  • the National Health Service (NHS) was established in 1948 - it provided free access to doctors, dentists, opticians and hospitals
  • doctors, dentists and opticians were inundated with patients queuing up for treatment that they had previously been unable to afford

The limitations of this were:

  • prescriptions rose from 7 million per month before the NHS to 13.5 million per month in September 1948
  • by 1950 the NHS was costing £358 million per year
  • the Government had to backtrack on its principle of a free service, by introducing charges for spectacles and dental treatment