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Establishment of the National Health Service

On the 'appointed day', the National Health Service (NHS) took control of 480,000 hospital beds in England and Wales. Previously, these hospitals had belonged to local authorities or were independent voluntary hospitals.

With the introduction of the NHS, the consultants and staff in hospitals became salaried employees.

General practitioners insisted on remaining independent contractors, to which Aneurin Bevan reluctantly agreed. They had a contract for services, not a contract of service, and at a local level competed for patients.


Tweddell L.
The Birth of the NHS – July 5th 1948.
Nursing Times; 2008.

Lilley P.
Patient Power: Choice for a better NHS.
Demos; 2000.