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Municipal Medicine

Public Health in Twentieth-Century Britain


John Welshman

This book provides the most comprehensive study yet produced of public health in twentieth-century Britain. Based in part on a case-study of the East Midlands city of Leicester, it explores the history of public health from the early 1900s to the health service reorganisation of 1974. The author examines the economic, political, and social context for health provision in Leicester, and the ideological background to policy in such areas as mental health and slum clearance. Particular attention is paid to the infectious disease of tuberculosis, and to the provision of services for schoolchildren through the School Health Service. This study further explores public health policy under the National Health Service, and looks at the wider relationships of the local authority – with general practice, hospitals and hospital boards, and central government departments. Public health in twentieth-century Britain has until now been comparatively neglected by historians of health care and social policy. This book remedies that neglect, and opens up numerous unexplored areas for further investigation.
Contents: Economic, political and social context of public health provision in Leicester – Ideological background to public health - menthal health, birth control, slum clearance – Tuberculosis – School Health Service – Public health and the National Health Service – Wider relationships - general practice, hospitals, central government departments – Conclusion – Bibliography.