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New Histories of the Health Care System in Modern Britain

May 2017

This two-day invitational workshop brings together members from each of the major Wellcome Trust-funded Investigator Award teams currently exploring the history of the National Health Service and the place of the public in public health in the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, in conjunction or comparison with international health care systems. We will be joined by researchers addressing related topics from elsewhere in the UK and USA. As well as an opportunity to share our recent research and build on the synergies between our projects, we will have a chance to explore questions about publishing; engaging the public in the co-production of historical knowledge; how and when to intervene in contemproary debates; and how to move beyond the current projects to develop a new history (or histories) of health and healthcare.

Workshop Programme:

Day 1: Thursday 25th May

 11.00-12.00: Learning the NHS

- Dr. Amy Whipple, ‘Portrayals and Perceptions of the General Medical Services in the Early NHS’

- Dr. Gareth Millward, ‘Polio Advertising Campaigns in the 1950s’

12.00-1.00: In Place of Fear

- Dr. Hannah Elizabeth, ‘Emotion and Public Health in Post-War Britain’

- Prof. Mathew Thomson, ‘An Emotional History of the NHS’


1.00-2.00: Lunch


2.00-3.30: Relationships and Meaning (i)

- Dr. Jenny Crane, ‘Notions of History in NHS Campaigning’

- Dr. Daisy Payling, ‘Public Participation? How the Surveyed Spoke Back to Surveyors in Public Health’

- Prof. Sally Sheard ‘The Politics of Sisyphus: waiting lists and waiting times in the battle for authority in the British NHS 1974-2004’


3.30-4.00: Tea


4.00-5.30: Relationships and Meaning (ii)

- Dr. Alex Mold, ‘Citizenship and Public Health’

- Dr. Jack Saunders, ‘Ideologies of Work in the NHS’

- Dr. Phil Begley, ‘Administrative Training in the NHS’


5.30: Publisher talk: Tom Dark, Manchester University Press


6.00: Roundtable 1: i) Policy; and ii) Public Engagement


7.00: Drinks and Dinner


 Day Two: Friday 26th May


9.00-10.00: The NHS Body (i)

- Dr. Jane Hand, ‘Teeth Matter’: Dental Health Education and the NHS, 1960s-1990s

- Dr. Peder Clark, ‘The Invention of Exercise? Heart Disease at the Social Medicine Research Unit 1948-1975’

10.00-11.00: The NHS Body (ii)

- Dr. Elizabeth Toon, ‘Putting Prevention in Place: The Everyday Work of Cervical Cancer Screening in the 1960s/1970s NHS’

- Dr. Natalie Jones, ‘Abortion and the NHS’

11.00-11.30: Coffee


11.30-12.30: International Perspectives

- Prof. Roberta Bivins, 'Assessing the NHS: Comparisons and Comparators in "Reforming" Times’

- Dr. Chris Sirrs, ‘First Time Around: The Rise and Fall of “Universal Health Coverage” as a Goal of International Health Politics, 1925–52’


12.30-1.30: Lunch

1.30-3.00: Roundtable II: i) New Histories? and ii) What Next?