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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.

20 March 1975

The Social Security Act 1975

Legislation set out a range of benefits and entitlements under the social security system and introduced the Invalid Care Allowance for carers.

October 1975

'Better services for the mentally ill' white paper

The 1975 white paper further emphasised the need to move from an institutional model of care to community services. It highlighted the need for early intervention and prevention of mental illness.

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.


Labour attempts to abolish private provision in the NHS

Barbara Castle, as Secretary of State for Health and Social Services, campaigned to abolish pay beds in the NHS, but legislation introduced to this effect was later repealed under Margaret Thatcher.


Labour encourages integration of health and local authorities

A 'joint finance' programme was introduced to incentivise joint working between local authorities and the NHS.


National scandals regarding care in 'mental handicap' hospitals

During the 1970s, there were several public reports of mistreatment and poor quality of care provided to people with severe learning difficulties and mental health illnesses.

4 April 1979

Nurses, Midwives and Health Visitors Act 1979

The Act received royal assent on 4 April 1979, providing for the establishment of the Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting (UKCC).