Cottage Hospitals Dignity Localism and NHS Healthcare - FACH article - JUNE 2016.pdf (719.2 kB)
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"Deliver me from this Indignity!": Cottage Hospitals, Localism and NHS Heathcare in Central England, 1948-1978

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journal contribution
posted on 02.08.2016, 12:19 by Elizabeth T. Hurren
Victorian and Edwardian cottage hospitals, compared to infirmaries and workhouse institutions, have been neglected by social historians. Yet, they provided an infrastructure dedicated to localism and healthcare for the aged under the new National Health Service (NHS) after World War Two. This article focuses on two renowned Midlands cottage hospitals built in mid-Northamptonshire at Pitsford. In their patient case-histories we can engage with: dignity standards, medical regime, ward designs, staffing levels, budget provisions, and patient voices. These popular institutions had a well-deserved reputation for delivering high-quality geriatric medicine from 1948 to 1978. Human vignettes detailing the physical indignities of ageing nonetheless proliferate in the records. The longevity of these basic issues was to prove to be a recurring tension in NHS financial planning. Budget models lacked enough funds for aged patients to receive ‘stable’ bedside care. Instead, NHS accountants allocated resources to ensure the future ‘sustainability’ of the system itself. A new paradigm highlights the inherent financial contradictions and empty political promises that those needing geriatric care often experienced, and still do. Throughout, the rediscovered cottage hospital records contain important historical lessons for the present impasse about how to define, deliver and secure dignity for elderly patients in today’s NHS.

History

Citation

Family and Community History, 2016, 19 (2), pp. 129-151

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of History

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Family and Community History

Publisher

Maney Publishing on behalf of Family and Community Historical Research Society

issn

1463-1180

eissn

1751-3812

Acceptance date

21/06/2016

Copyright date

2016

Available date

05/10/2018

Publisher version

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14631180.2016.1216349

Notes

The file associated with this record is under a 24 month embargo from publication in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en