The birth pains of the NHS

The creation of the National Health Service – 70 years ago this month – is widely celebrated as a glorious chapter in the history of modern Britain. But, argues Mathew Thomson, a mixture of political infighting, middle-class scepticism and a chronic inability to meet demand meant that this was far from a smooth delivery

Listening in: a doctor uses a stethoscope to examine a patient in 1948. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the July 2018 edition of BBC History Magazine

Accompanies the BBC’s NHS season

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