Education Forum
Why was the NHS set up in 1948 and what was its significance?
Origins of the NHS
Cloze Activity
Sources Exercise

WALT: Why was the NHS set up in 1948 and what was its significance?
WILFs: Can tell the story of how and when the NHS was set up ()...Can describe and explain the motives behind the setting up of the NHS (C)... can compare and contrast health care before and after the setting up of the NHS (B).... can explain why the setting up of the NHS was a struggle and why some groups opposed the NHS (B).... can assess the significance of the NHS to health and health care in Britain using the 4Rs (A*)


The UK's National Health Service (NHS) came into operation at midnight on the fourth of July 1948. It was the first time anywhere in the world that completely free healthcare was made available on the basis of citizenship rather than the payment of fees or insurance premiums. The service has been beset with problems throughout its lifetime, not least a continuing shortage of cash. But having cared for the nation for half a century, most Britons consider the NHS to have been an outstanding success.

Only 50 years ago, health care was a luxury not everyone could afford.

Life in Britain in the 30s and 40s was tough. Every year, thousands died of infectious diseases like pneumonia, meningitis, tuberculosis, diphtheria, and polio.

Infant mortality - deaths of children before their first birthday - was around one in 20, and there was little the piecemeal healthcare system of the day could do to improve matters.

Against such a background, it is difficult to overstate the impact of the introduction of the National Health Service (NHS). Although medical science was still at a basic stage, the NHS for the first time provided decent healthcare for all - and, at a stroke, transformed the lives of millions.

Lesson 1 Development
1. Watch the first clip and study the text above: What was the NHS and why was it important?

2. Promenade you partner and discuss these questions
3. Stand and Share
4. Take you face partner to a computer - investigate the origins of ther NHS links and use your books to take notes on WHY the NHS was set up and how it changed health care in Britain

Lesson 2 Development
1. Starter: Mix and find a partner sharing what the NHS was and what it provided... when the music stops that is you partner for the first activity

2. Rally Robin the reasons why the NHS was set up in 1948 - use you notes and your books to help you then STAND and SHARE

3. Read and take notes from this PPT

4. With a new partner promenade and discuss who opposed the NHS and why

5. With a new partner go to a computer and complete the cloze exercise and keep a copy for both of you

 6. Mix pair Share
a) What was the NHS and why was it set up

b) What was health care like before and after the setting up of the NHS
c) Who was repsonsible for the setting up of the NHS and what opposition was there
c) How significant was the setting up of the NHS - use the 4 Rs

7. In your table groups use what you have learnt today to create as many Quiz Quiz Trade cards as you can to cover today's WILFs
8. Plenary: Quiz Quiz Trade and 'Toby'

Lesson 3 Development

1. Starter - Find Someone Who?

2. Using last week's cards play Quiz Quiz Trade and then Toby

Plenary - in your table groups - cover the table with post its which answer the question - What was the significance of the NHS in the history of health care in the UK

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