Did the reforms address problems of "disease"?

National Health Service Act, 1946

Details and successes

  • National Health Service (NHS) established in 1948
  • provided free access to treatment from doctors, dentists, opticians, and hospitals
  • doctors, dentists and opticians were inundated with patients seeking treatment they previously could not afford
  • prescriptions rose from seven million per month before the NHS to 13.5 million per month in September 1948


  • development was hampered by the country’s dated hospitals
  • by 1950 the NHS was costing £358 million per year
  • the government had to backtrack on its principle of a free service - charges introduced for spectacles (glasses) and dental treatment