Designed as temporary legislation to stem the spread of cholera, legislation set out procedures for the removal of 'nuisances' and increased the regulatory powers of the Privy Council.
William Henry Duncan was appointed as medical officer of health in Liverpool to ensure that sanitary conditions were improved to stem the spread of disease.
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.
Legislation made it compulsory for all children born after 1 August 1853 to be vaccinated against smallpox during their first 3 months of life.
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.
Legislation required local authorities to employ sanitary inspectors and gave local authorities powers to enter properties containing 'nuisances'.
Florence Nightingale returned from the Crimean War and began to promote her ideas on sanitary nursing.
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.
Established by the Medical Act 1858, the General Medical Council brought greater regulation of the qualifications of practitioners in medicine and surgery.
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