The Poor Law Amendment Act 1834 received royal assent on 14 August 1834

The system of providing support to the poor was overhauled by the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, widely dubbed the ‘new Poor Law’.  The act grouped parishes into poor law unions under 600 locally elected Boards of Guardians; each of those boards had its own workhouse. The boards were controlled by the Poor Law Commission (established by the 1601 act and later replaced by the Poor Law Board in 1847), which was responsible for administering the new system of providing relief to the poor. 
 
At the same time, the workhouses housed the sick and elderly, who were attended by workhouse medical officers and nursed by unqualified inmates. In 1866, 21,000 sick and aged inmates in London workhouses were being nursed and cared for by 142 non-pauper nurses, very few of them having received formal training (The Workhouse).