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The cottage hospital movement

Rural doctors started to establish small facilities that would enable them to provide new services locally.


The professionalisation of nursing

The first nursing school was set up at St Thomas's in 1860 by Mrs Wardroper and was supervised by Florence Nightingale.


The Contagious Diseases Act

Legislation was introduced in an attempt to regulate 'common prostitutes', in order to reduce the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases within the British army and navy.


Sanitary Act 1866

Legislation was instituted to ensure the improvement of sanitary conditions and remove nuisances to public health.

March 1867

Metropolitan Poor Act

Against growing criticism of conditions in workhouses, legislation established asylums for the sick and other classes of the poor in London.


Local Government Board Act 1871

Legislation established the Local Government Board, to administrate the Poor Law and the public health work of the medical department of the Privy Council.


Public Health Act 1872

Legislation established sanitary authorities in both urban and rural areas, and medical officers to plan for the prevention of infectious diseases.


Public Health Act 1875

Legislation consolidated previous public health acts made during the 19th century. These reforms set a framework for the next 50 years in public health.

20 August 1883

Diseases Prevention (Metropolis) Act 1883

Legislation gave the Metropolitan Asylums Board (MAB) additional powers to tackle infectious diseases and removed civil rights from people admitted to an MAB hospital.