The National Health Service, founded in 1948, will be 70 years old on Thursday. Seventy-five years ago this week, Clement Attlee became prime minister of the most radical government in British history. On July 5, 1948, from what is now Trafford general hospital, Manchester, the then health minister in Clement Attlee’s post war Labour government, Aneurin (Nye) Bevan, announced the founding of the National Health Service. BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. He presided over the establishment of the welfare state in Great Britain and the granting of … Access to a General Practitioner (GP) also varied. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. During World War Two, Attlee was a highly successful deputy prime minister in Churchill's coalition government. When the prime minister, Clement Attlee, suggested the opening of the NHS should be celebrated as a national institution supported by the whole nation, it was too much for Bevan, who replied: "The Conservatives voted against the National Health Act, not … Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth M joins people taking part in the march. Protesters call on the government to reverse cuts to the NHS. Clement Attlee, 1950 However, he abandoned this to become a social worker in the East End of London, and later joined the Labour Party. The documents themselves are arranged according to theme, so that sources are grouped together rather than following a strict chronological order. Clement Attlee National Health Service Labour Party Winston Churchill Prime Minister Great Britain Memoirs Biography The Twenties Clement Attlee : The Man Who Made Modern Britain (Hardcover) Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, Winston Churchill's wartime heroics and larger-than-life personality propelled him to the center of the world stage. Clement Attlee died of pneumonia at the age of 84 at Westminster Hospital on 8 October 1967. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so. During the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher reversed many of Attlee’s economic reforms but even she, through gritted teeth, had to publicly promise that the NHS was safe in her hands. Protestors gather calling for an end to the "crisis" in the NHS. NHS at 72: How was the health service created and what were its guiding principles? Called 'a sheep in sheep's clothing', his reputation has long been that of an unassuming character in the shadow of Churchill. Successor. The book, inspired by its author’s experiences as a GP caring for the coal mining communities of the South Wales Valleys, chronicled the injustice, poverty and silicosis Dr Cronin encountered in the town of Tredegar. This was the most significant reforming administration of … It introduced the National Health Service, nationalised one fifth of the British economy, and granted independence to India. He became party leader in 1935, largely by default as many of his more charismatic rivals had lost their seats in the 1931 election. Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC, FRS (3 January 1883 – 8 October 1967) was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955. With the outbreak of the Second World War, the introduction of the state-run Emergency Hospital Service in 1939 gave a foretaste of things to come. But as Mr Bevan wrote in his 1952 book In Place of Fear: “The collective principle asserts ... no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.”. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? As Prime Minister, he enlarged and … In addition to the Beveridge Report, it also sponsored (in 1944) white papers on education, strategies for achieving full employment, and the creation of a national health service. The Attlee administration’s ambitions for democratic socialism and the welfare state, tackling Mr Beveridge’s “five giants” with fearlessness, daring and compassion, were symptomatic of an extraordinary moment of consensus and unity, perhaps unique in British history. Thousands of protesters marched during the demonstration organised by 'The People's Assembly Against Austerity' campaign group that called for better funding for the National Health Service (NHS) to end the 'winter crisis' in the national health care system. Demonstrators gather on Gover Street in central London ahead of a march towards Downing Street to protest against underfunding and privatisation of the NHS and demand an end to the winter crisis in the health service. Labour has just won a landslide general election, much to everyone’s surprise — including the party’s leader, Clement Attlee. Attlee became member of parliament for Stepney in 1922 and served as a junior minister in the 1924 and 1929 - 1931 MacDonald governments. Disagreeing with his predecessor about the ability of local authorities to run hospitals, Mr Bevan concluded: “The only thing to do was to create an entirely new hospital service, to take over the voluntary hospitals, and to take over the local government hospitals and to organise them as a single hospital service.”. Arguably the popularity of Dr AJ Cronin’s novel The Citadel (1937) had much greater influence, helping to open up the public debate about medical ethics. This was the most significant reforming administration of 20th century Britain. The London County Council, for instance, took charge of 140 hospitals from the abolished Metropolitan Asylums Board. This led to the creation of the National Health Service and the nationalisation of coal mining and the steel industry. The National Health Service Act of 1946 received royal assent on 6 November, 1946, and the NHS was born. Clement Attlee - the brave surburban revolutionary who rebuilt postwar Britain After he beat Winston Churchill in the 1945 general election, Clement Attlee went on … “The horrors and inequities detailed in the story I have personally witnessed. Clement Attlee was leader of the Labour Party from 1935 to 1955, and served as Britain’s Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951. Clement Attlee was invited by King George VI to form the Attlee ministry in the United Kingdom in July 1945, succeeding Winston Churchill as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Politically, it is true, Attlee … Some areas enjoyed high-quality ‘family doctor’ services, while other parts of the country (particularly industrialised to… If you relied on a small cottage hospital (with a handful of beds), then perhaps not. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. He played a critical role in supporting Bevin's Cold War diplomacy, and in accelerating independence for India, a cause which he had supported for many years. A demonstrator in a mobility scooter carries a placard. Attlee rose through the rank and file of the Labour Party which gave him a knowledge of Labour's culture and ethos that others from a similar social background, such as Hugh Dalton and Stafford Cripps, lacked. John Bew’s Citizen Clem, about Clement Attlee, the founder of the NHS, was named winner of the £3,000 2017 Orwell prize for books at a ceremony in London on Thursday night. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Bevan, with the support of prime minister Clement Attlee, won the argument. His quiet, unassuming personality led many to underestimate him. Clement Attlee resigned as leader of the Labour Party in 1955. A relic of the Victorian era hardly fit for purpose, the wealthy were well catered for but poverty and deprivation were rife among a working class excluded from fundamental necessities by exorbitant costs. Mr Bevan took his first cabinet position under Clement Attlee's post-war Labour Government as Health Minister. What time is the NHS clap on Sunday and why is it happening? Attlee’s legacy SIR – Charles Moore writes that Sir Keir Starmer is trying to find an answer to his problems “in the example of Clement Attlee”. Then in 1945, when Labour swept to power in a landslide election victory, his combination of social conscience and staunch patriotism encapsulated Labour's experiment in democratic socialism. The NHS was the first free at the point of entry health care service to be introduced by a Western democratic country. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. Another founding influence was Sir William Beveridge, whose Social Insurance and Allied Services report of 1942 paved the path for the modern welfare state by identifying the “five giants” that needed to be slain before Britain could enjoy true social prosperity: want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. These changing attitudes to social policy in wartime Britain were reflected in the series of reforms introduced by the postwar Labour government under Clement Attlee (1945-51). The former director of public prosecutions will hark back to the example of the Clement Attlee administration, that took the reins from Conservative prime minister Winston Churchill in 1945 after the Second World War, as evidence of how the country could bounce back from the devastating impact of coronavirus. The Beveridge Report paved the way for Mr Attlee's government to create the welfare state and the NHS. Mr Willink was never given the chance to implement his plan, which provoked fiery opposition from fellow Tories, as Clement Attlee’s Labour Party stormed to victory in the 1945 general election, ousting victorious prime minister Sir Winston Churchill. Attlee’s Labour government wasted little time enacting visionary change, introducing social security, bringing key industries back into public ownership and introducing a major programme of house building, providing safe and … Protestors carry placards featuring Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and Britain's Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt. The “Spirit of ‘45”, the national mood of optimism which swept post-war Britain following VE Day, indicated a sincere belief a better, fairer society could be built from the rubble of the Blitz. Attlee was born on 2 January 1883. Read more. {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}, May’s increased NHS funding is a clear sign austerity has failed, More ‘at risk’ groups to receive free flu vaccine on NHS this winter. An early gesture towards improving the lot of working people came when chancellor of the exchequer, David Lloyd George, introduced the National Insurance Act 1911, which saw the automatic deduction of a small amount of an employee’s weekly wages in exchange for access to medical care, for which registration with a doctor was required. Abusers would ‘horrify’ Attlee THE prime minister who created the NHS would be “horrified” that patients abuse the health service by missing appointments, his …  © Third Churchill ministry. The purpose of this document collection is to allow students and teachers to develop their own questions and lines of historical enquiry on Attlee’s Britain, 1945-1951. Most politicians agree that health care in the UK is a mess. People take part in a march in London in support of the National Health Service. The NHS celebrates its 72nd birthday on 5 July. Clement Attlee, 1950 © Attlee was the British Labour Party leader for 20 years, and presided over the 1945 - 1951 Labour government. Plots to replace him were a regular occurrence throughout the next two decades, but Attlee had the self-assurance not to be perturbed by the machinations of Herbert Morrison or Ernest Bevin. No one would be left behind, priced out of care or left at the mercy of insurance premiums. Demonstrators take part in pro-NHS march and protest towards Downing Street in Central London. His greatest achievement, surpassing many of these, was, perhaps, the establishment of a political and economic consensus about the governance of Britain that all parties, whether Labour, Conservative or Liberal subscribed to for three decades, fixing the arena of political discourse until the later 197… Find out more about how the BBC is covering the. The peer went on to outline a structure which would see patients’ treatment beginning in a doctor’s surgery before being continued at either a primary or secondary health centre, depending on whether preventative or more specialist care was required. Churchill caretaker ministry. In the 1930s, the British Medical Association, the Hospitals Association and several think-tanks all produced reports calling for reform and arguing for greater co-operation between regional healthcare providers to ensure greater cohesion and efficiency. Sir Bertrand Dawson was subsequently commissioned by the Liberal health minister, Christopher Addison, to chair a council advising on how a systematised health service might be implemented at a national level. Clement Attlee has been elected Britain's new prime minister after Labour won a sweeping victory in the general election. This is not an attack against individuals, but against a system,” he explained. Protestors carry placards and shout slogans. Inspired by the Beveridge Report, the Conservative health secretary, Henry Willink, issued a white paper in 1944 at the height of the war proposing a framework for national health provision which contained several core principles of the NHS: services free at the point of use, financed by central taxation and open to everyone. Crucially, the health service would be funded entirely by tax contributions, meaning that people would pay for its upkeep according to their means. Lord Dawson’s committee stopped short of advocating free treatment, fearing such a measure would be too large a drain on the public purse. If you were lucky enough to live near a prestigious teaching hospital – like St. Thomas’s in London – then you might receive excellent treatment. It was a message which captured the imagination of the country and took Clement Attlee into Number 10 on the back of a landslide, winning 393 seats. The outgoing prime minister and great wartime leader Winston Churchill tendered his resignation immediately. Collective commitment to eradicating the social ailments he had diagnosed would bring rewards for all, he argued. Attlee saw his role of premier as that of an umpire, reconciling the opinions of a cabinet composed of powerful personalities such as Morrison, Bevin and Aneurin Bevan. “The insufficiency of organisation has become more apparent with the growth of knowledge, and with the increasing conviction that the best means of maintaining health and curing disease should be made available to all citizens,” Lord Dawson concluded. It is erratically provided by charities and volunteer hospitals. Clement Attlee was the Labour prime minister who presided over Britain's radical postwar government, delivering the end of the Empire in India, the foundation of the NHS and Britain's place in NATO. Aneurin Bevan, Mr Attlee’s youngest Cabinet minister at 48, was appointed to pick up the baton from Mr Willink. He served in the army in World War One. The Labour Party accepted Somerville Hastings’ resolution backing the establishment of a state medical service in 1932. The Government will be urged to provide more beds, staff and funds to ease the problems facing the service. Everyone knows that Clement Attlee’s 1945-1951 Labour Governments created the NHS, brought the coal mines and railways in to public ownership and gave India and Pakistan independence. After Labour's defeat in the general election of 1951, Attlee's effectiveness dramatically declined, his authority broken by factional fighting within the party. The NHS budget has always been a major political issue. But one of Attlee’s lesser celebrated achievements was building one million new homes at a time when building materials were in short supply and when the construction … The demonstration is focused on the current crisis in the National Health Service. A demonstrator carries a cardboard skeleton wearing an ambulance uniform . A Boris Johnson impersonator lies in a makeshift hospital bed next to an effigy of Theresa May during a People's Assembly demonstration against the Conservative government's health policy. A protestor carries a placard featuring Britain's Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt. In office, Attlee faced unprecedented problems created by the need to turn a near-bankrupt wartime economy back to the requirements of peace while finding work for millions of demobilized soldiers. Demonstrators hold placards during a People's Assembly demonstration against the Conservative government's health policy. Even privately, ministerial colleagues found Attlee difficult to engage with; one of the few things he was willing to actually talk about was cricket. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. He had a conventional middle-class upbringing, and after going to Oxford University began a career as a barrister. One of them recalls treating Prime Minister Clement Attlee in an NHS hospital. NHS Test and Trace: your questions answered, NHS facing doctor shortage before second wave as thousands to quit, Rankin unveils powerful portraits of frontline NHS workers. Theresa May announces £20bn funding for NHS, Aneurin Bevan meeting a patient at Papworth Village Hospital (Getty). The new prime minister was Churchill's deputy in the war time coalition, Clement Attlee. Demonstrators dressed as an undertaker and carrying a fake coffin. Some of the themes include: 1. the economy 2. rationing 3. housing 4. the welfar… Read more. Clement Attlee (The National Archives reference INF 14/19) It is difficult to envisage a twenty-first century politician passing up the opportunity to promote their ‘message’. Clement Attlee, who was PM from 1945 to 1951, was one of its chief architects. He resigned as leader in 1955 and accepted a peerage. Attlee was the British Labour Party leader for 20 years, and presided over the 1945 - 1951 Labour government. Demonstrators take part in a emergency NHS 'Fix It Now' protest demanding an end to the funding crisis in the Health Service. Dr Benjamin Moore, a physician from Liverpool who founded the State Medical Association, is credited with coining the phrase “National Health Service” in his 1910 book The Dawn of the Health Age, which recommended a system of state medicine in which consultant physicians functioned like policemen, suppressing disease as officers tackle crime. A placard reading 'Nurses with fight for the NHS'. 'Spirit of '45' saw Clement Attlee's Labour government implement radical healthcare reform and mastermind a fairer Britain, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. Clement Attlee, in full Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee of Walthamstow, Viscount Prestwood, (born January 3, 1883, Putney, London, England—died October 8, 1967, Westminster, London), British Labour Party leader (1935–55) and prime minister (1945–51). “Illness is neither an indulgence for which people have to pay, nor an offence for which they … Officially launched with the opening of Park Hospital in Manchester (now Trafford General) by the Labour health secretary, Aneurin Bevan, in 1948, this huge undertaking was designed to bring all UK healthcare providers together under one administrating organisation, offering “cradle to the grave” medical treatment for all - free at the point of delivery. Before the NHS, British healthcare was unevenly distributed throughout the country. Sir Bertrand’s prescriptions were not enacted due to the subsequent fall of the Lloyd George government, but local authorities did assume responsibility for Poor Law hospitals under the Local Government Act 1929 at the end of the decade. People hold up a sign in support of the National Health Service to demand an end to the "crisis" in the NHS. Demonstrators hold placards and set off flares . Though Sir William himself was no socialist, he believed relieving working people and businesses of healthcare and pension costs would advance the competitiveness of British industry and produce a healthier, happier workforce. The Attlee government’s successful bid to rake in funds for the welfare state by targeting rich business owners with tax increases – redistributing the wealth it felt had been generated by workers in the first place - is hard to imagine being implemented without a fight in the current climate. He died on 8 October 1967. During the First World War, the British Army demonstrated the value of organised medical care in its support for frontline soldiers injured in combat. Health workers and NHS campaigners march through London to a rally outside Downing Street. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. He was three times Leader of the Opposition (1935–1940, 1945, 1951–1955). Prior to the creation of the NHS, healthcare in Britain presented a fragmented picture, administered by a patchwork of private and municipal schemes of wildly varying quality, with the charity sector stepping in to pick up the slack and all too reliant on philanthropy. The civil servant's forward-looking Interim Report on the Future Provision of Medical and Allied Services 1920 was published in May 1920. This led to the `` crisis '' in the Health Service to be by. 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