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5 July 1948

Establishment of the National Health Service

The NHS took control of 480,000 hospital beds in England and Wales, that had belonged to local authorities, or were independent voluntary hospitals.

June 1957

The Percy Commission

The Report of the Royal Commission on the Law Relating to Mental Illness and Mental Deficiency (chaired by Baron Percy of Newcastle) recommended that care should be provided in the community.

29 July 1959

The Mental Health Act 1959

Legislation was introduced to implement the Percy Commission's 1957 recommendations to move care for people with 'a mental disorder' into the community.


Health and Care Professions Council

The Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine was established to supervise boards representing health professions, later becoming the Health and Care Professions Council.

9 March 1961

Enoch Powell's 'water tower' speech

Minister of Health, Enoch Powell, spoke dramatically about his desire to see greater community care provision for mental health patients.

3 July 1962

Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work

The Health Visiting and Social Work (Training) Act established the council to provide professional regulation of social workers.

1 August 1962

The National Assistance (Amendment) Act 1962

Legislation enabled local authorities to provide assistance to voluntary and community groups to provide meals and recreational services for the elderly.

3 August 1966

The Ministry of Social Security Act

Legislation created the ministry and post of Minister of Social Security, merging the Ministry of Pensions and National Assistance with the Supplementary Benefits Commission.


Two green papers on structural reform of the NHS

'Administrative structure of the medical and related services in England and Wales' and 'Future structure of the National Health Service in England' proposed the creation of area authorities.