The politics and ideology of local authority health care in Sheffield 1918-1948

WILLIS, Timothy James (2009). The politics and ideology of local authority health care in Sheffield 1918-1948. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This thesis examines local authority health policy in Sheffield from 1918 to 1948. Sheffield was the first British city to elect a Labour Council in 1926. The Sheffield Labour Party pursued a policy of municipal socialism campaigning on a platform of service provision to include housing, health, education and transport. Health and hospital policies were closely related. In hospital policy the Council operated within a mixed economy of health care to provide a municipal general hospital service. Voluntary hospitals in Sheffield relied on a contributory hospital scheme after the First World War and sought and received the support of the Labour movement. Before the introduction of the NHS the health and hospital services of the city operated as a system that featured a mix of pragmatism and ideology.

The thesis argues that the role of politics and ideology has been overlooked in the history of British social policy. Government files relating to health policy and local government have been used as well as professional journals, local and national newspapers, Council Committee minutes, records of the Sheffield Labour Party and the records of the Sheffield Joint Hospitals Council. The work aims to offer a more detailed and more nuanced understanding of the development of local authority health policy in Sheffield before the NHS, than has previously been available.

The case study examines how local social, cultural and political factors influenced the provision of health care. The work contributes to debates on the role of the Medical Officer of Health in the interwar years. The Sheffield example also illustrates how local actors and groups sought to address problems of finance and access in health care using the available policy instruments at a time when health services were locally controlled.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Taylor, Antony
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2011 10:39
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 12:56

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