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The Evolution of British General Practice, 1850–1948$
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Anne Digby

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198205135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198205135.001.0001

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The National Health Service

The National Health Service

(p.325) 13 The National Health Service
The Evolution of British General Practice, 1850–1948

Anne Digby

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the historical role that GPs played in shaping the National Health Service (NHS), and with the reception of the NHS by doctors and their patients. The creation of the NHS led to substantive changes in the hospital sector and in specialist health services. But within general practice the major change was the extension of free-at-the-point-of-access health care to the whole population: to women and children as well as men, to the middle class as well as the working class. The standard of care and social ethos of the new health service was essentially a continuation of the old panel system.

Keywords:   general practice, medical practice, general practitioners, health care, public health, National Health Service

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