The purpose of this essay is to introduce the history of the National Health Service (NHS) and how its formation derived from the early 1600s. It will analyse two current political issues that occur within the NHS, the postcode lottery and the reformation of the NHS, examining the positive and negative effects they have had. It will also discuss implications of regulations within professional practice and how they account for quality of care.
Initially set up in 1601, the Poor Law Act was introduced by the government in an attempt to provide shelter and food for those most in need, in exchange for hard labour, otherwise known as workhouses; “a poorhouse where able-bodied poor are compelled to labor” (Vocabulary.com, 2014). The poor who were unable to work were cared for by a parish. The law offered relief to people who were unable to work, mainly assisting the elderly or helpless. The Poor Law Act created the framework for poor relief in England that was to last until the next act was introduced.
It was not until 1834 that another scheme was established, named the Poor Law Amendment Act with the similar aims and objectives. They established a Poor Law Commission to oversee the national operation of the system and parishes were put into Poor Law Unions so that relief could be provided more easily. In 1905 the Liberal government was voted in, when they began to devise laws which would benefit health care systems. Through 1905-1908 was considered the biggest stage of progression towards forming the National Healthcare System. Although the Royal Commission began to amend the Poor Law Act (1834), further advances and progression was interrupted due to the First World War (1914-1918).
The Beveridge Report (1942) was the main point of progression for the NHS; arguing that to reach universal health care, the 'five giants' needed to be conquered; want, disease, squalor, ignorance and idleness. Believing that the government needed to provide everyone with social security 'from the cradle to the grave' (BBC 2014), Beveridge initiated an insurance scheme to provide cover for medical fees, old age, maternity, industrial injury and funeral benefits. This was the beginning of equality within healthcare, suggesting that Britain needed to be rebuild after the war. Establishing this growth of healthcare, the NHS was set up with an ambitious aim to make healthcare available to those who needed it the most, regardless of their economical status. As a result of the Beveridge Report, Aneunn Beuon the Minister of Health, created the National Health Service Act (1946). The overall outcome of the Poor Law Acts, the National Health Service Act and the Beveridge Report was the formation of the National Health Service on 5th July 1948.
Although the formation of The National Health Service was a progression in the health and social care systems, there are still various political issues, such as the 'postcode lottery' that the NHS face. This refers to the restriction of...