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Public Health Act 1848 and the General Board of Health

Following extensive debate on Britain's poor sanitary conditions, the Act established the General Board of Health and local boards to advise on public health matters.


United Kingdom Vaccination Act 1853

Legislation made it compulsory for all children born after 1 August 1853 to be vaccinated against smallpox during their first 3 months of life.


John Snow and the Broad Street cholera outbreak

Anaesthetist John Snow proved that cholera was spread by contaminated water by linking the outbreak to a single water source. Later, Robert Koch identified the bacteria that caused cholera.


Nuisances Removal and Diseases Prevention Acts consolidation and amendment

Legislation required local authorities to employ sanitary inspectors and gave local authorities powers to enter properties containing 'nuisances'.


Florence Nightingale promotes ideas on sanitary nursing

Florence Nightingale returned from the Crimean War and began to promote her ideas on sanitary nursing.


Public Health Act 1858

The Act abolished the General Board of Health. Its responsibilities were taken on by the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Local Government Act Office, and the Privy Council.


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.