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The cottage hospital movement

The cottage hospital movement developed in Britain during the mid-1800s in rural areas. Patients in rural areas were unable to access the technical advances available in the larger voluntary hospitals.

Rural doctors started to establish small facilities that would enable them to provide new services locally. Charges were introduced, given the difficulty of raising funds.

When the hospitals were eventually nationalised and incorporated into the NHS, nearly 20% of the hospitals were cottage hospitals. Some survived as community hospitals, but the district general hospitals that emerged in the 1960s would become the dominant model.


Cherry S.
Change and continuity in the cottage hospitals c. 1859–1948: The experience in East Anglia.
Medical History.
1992; 36: 271–289.