This post by Barry Doyle, Director of the Centre for the History of Public Health and Medicine, forms part of a series of short examinations of segregation and integration in hospital provision posted in preparation for the forthcoming conference of the International Network of the History of Hospitals in Dubrovnik in April 2015. Look out for the announcement of the programme very soon.
Author: Professor Barry Doyle (University of Huddersfield)
In the years before the creation of the National Health Service (NHS) the hospitals of England were divided between two providers – acute and specialist voluntary institutions treating a range of mostly curable conditions and a much larger number of municipally controlled establishments providing isolation for infectious diseases or with roots in the nineteenth century poor law. On the eve of the Great War these providers drew their patients from distinct socio-economic groupings with patients segregated between paupers and the respectable sick poor, men and women, adults and children, the acute and the chronic, the dangerous and the safe, the old and the young, the curable and the incurable.
Further distinctions emerged with the finance and management of institutions and from the…
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