Today marks the 65th anniversary of the National Health Service. During the Second World War, concerns for the sustainability of voluntary hospitals (already subsidised by the government before 1945) contributed to the proposal of a comprehensive health service, open to all members of the community and free at the point of use.
One of these voluntary institutions was the York County Hospital, which opened in 1740. The following images are taken from the hospital’s Final Report (reference: YCH 1/2/21), published on the eve of its transfer into the NHS on 5th July 1948.
The report also includes some group photographs of the nursing staff, administrative team and the medical board – as well as a picture of its royal patron, HRH The Princess Royal!
Although the report begins with reflections on the work of the hospital as a voluntary organisation, it ends on a note of hope, looking forward to a future within the National Health Service.
Health archives at the Borthwick Institute
We hold a large number of records relating to health, comprising the archives of the hospitals and other services managed by the NHS in York, running from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day. As well as the archive of York County Hospital, we also hold records for the many smaller hospitals which were inherited by the NHS after 1948. Alongside these, we house the archives of Bootham Park Hospital, Clifton Hospital and the York Hospital Management Committees.
Further information on the archive of York County Hospital can be found on the Access to Archives website at:
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=193-ych&cid=0&kw=York County Hospital#0
This blog post was written by Lydia Dean, Archives Assistant.