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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.


The Health Advisory Service

The NHS Hospital Advisory Service (later the NHS Health Advisory Service) was established as an independent body reporting to the Secretary of State for Social Services about hospitals in England.

October 1969

The Bonham-Carter report

A committee chaired by Sir Desmond Bonham-Carter published its report on the functions of the district general hospital in the NHS.


The Grey Book

A group chaired by Sir Phillip Rogers produced the Management arrangements for the reorganised National Health Service report (the Grey Book), which ushered in 'consensus management'.

August 1972

'National Health Service reorganisation' white paper

A change of government and a change of secretary of state led to the white paper. This outlined significant structural and administrative reform of the health system.

October 1972

Report of the Briggs Committee on Nursing

The Briggs report recommended there should be one national, statutory body for nurses, midwives and health visitors which should be responsible for setting standards and education and training.

5 July 1973

NHS Reorganisation Act 1973

The Act gave effect to the structural and administrative reform of the health system outlined in the 1972 white paper on National Health Service reorganisation.


British Medical Association (BMA)

The organisation became the recognised trade union for doctors from 1974, having published the weekly British Medical Journal since 1855.

10 October 1975

Thatcher's choice agenda

Margaret Thatcher, then Leader of the Opposition, gave a speech to the Conservative party conference focusing on choice in health services.