[from "The Birth of a Service", 2008]


First, this cannot claim to be a work of scholarship. For various reasons it has proved possible only to cover the early years, and then by skimming the surface, as it were. The National Health Service is a huge field of activities and endeavours; just how big can probably only be really appreciated by those who have worked in its upper levels.

Second, it will be noted that nobody is identified by name. So many people have played their part that it was felt invidious to do so, on the grounds that the more who were mentioned, the more it would appear had been left out, so it has been a case of taking the easy way out.

This also applies to the many people who have given their assistance; Government Office and the Health Services Division for access to their records, and the many past and present workers and practitioners for their assistance and memories, and, such as it can be, this is an acknowledgement of a great debt of gratitude.

It will also be noted that there are no footnotes or references, and this is because, given the limited scope, it might be seen as pretentious. At least, however, this effort may stir some interest, and lay some of the groundwork for the fuller treatment of which the subject is so richly deserving.

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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
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