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Cradle to Grave

Levene, Alysa / Powell, Martin / Stewart, John / Taylor, Becky

Cradle to Grave

Municipal Medicine in Interwar England and Wales

Series: Studies in the History of Medicine - Volume 4

Year of Publication: 2011

Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2011. XII, 258 pp., num. tables and graphs
ISBN 978-3-03910-904-3 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.400 kg, 0.882 lbs

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Book synopsis

The book examines, for the first time in any detail or in any depth, the provision of municipal medicine in interwar England and Wales at both national and local case-study levels. Municipal health care was an important, but historically neglected, part of the British health care system in this period. The book presents conceptual and empirical perspectives on interwar municipal medicine in England. Using a mixture of under-utilised quantitative and archival data, it explores the patterns of local authority medical services at both national and local levels.
What emerges is a complex pattern of provision which touched on all areas of healthcare from the ‘cradle to the grave’, but with very different priorities and forms in different places. In turn, this raises important questions about the role of local government in this period before the advent of the National Health Service and thereby the subsequent history of health care in England.


Contents: Localist Welfare Systems – Municipal Medicine – National Perspectives – Local Perspectives: Barnsley - Eastbourne - Newport - West Hartlepool.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Alysa Levene is Senior Lecturer in History at Oxford Brookes University, specialising in the history of child health and welfare.
Martin Powell is Professor of Health and Social Policy, Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham, and the author of essays, books and articles on contemporary and historical social policy.
John Stewart is Chair of Health History at Glasgow Caledonian University and Director of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare. His research interests include the history of child guidance and child psychiatry.
Becky Taylor is Lecturer in History at Birkbeck College, University of London. She specialises in issues of class, migration and the relationship between the state and marginal groups.


«This is a well-written and well-referenced book, composed in a spare, economical style. [...] It will remain a key text for historians of local authority health services for many years to come.» (John Welshman, Social History of Medicine 25, 2012/3)


Studies in the History of Medicine. Vol. 4
General Editor: Charles Webster