Written and edited by: Dr Geoffrey Rivett

I owe a great debt to many colleagues who have helped me reconstruct a period which, though near to us, has seen so much change that it is all too easy for one to forget times past. I have not referenced personal communications though there have been many. Sir George Godber, who was at the centre of the developments of the first three decades and played a substantial role in the solution of problems, was of great assistance. He, Professor Walter Holland, Professor John Blandy and Jane Allen provided extensive comments and editorial assistance; the errors are, however, my own. Barbara, my wife, who was a student nurse when the NHS was established, helped me to expunge jargon and understand nursing issues better. The book would not have been possible without her tolerance and the many people who gave me unstinting and often enthusiastic assistance. They include Professor David Allison, Michael Ashley-Miller, Sir Francis Avery Jones, Ian Ayres, Alan Bacon, John Ballantyne, John and Pamela Ball, Christopher Bartlett, Mark de Belder, Virginia Berridge, Rudolf Blach, Sir Douglas Black, John Bootes, Sir Christopher Booth, Lord Briggs, Michael Brudenell, Margaret Buttigieg, Professor Charles Calnan, Professor Geoffrey Chamberlain, Sir Tim Chessells, Lady Julia Cumberlege, Deidre Cunliffe, Pamela Davies, William Dinning, Sir Richard Doll, Sir Colin Dollery, Nigel Edwards, Johanna Finn, Professor Malcolm Forsythe, Hugh Freeman, Michael Freeman, Dame Phyllis Friend, Dr Edward Glucksman, Professor Sir David Goldberg, Sir Anthony Grabham, Henry Grant, Professor Sir John Grimley Evans, Stephen Hadfield, Dame Nancy Hallett, Valerie Harrison, Julian Tudor Hart, Professor Charles Harvey, Professor David Harvey, Denis Hill, Arthur Hollman, Anthony Hopkins, John Horder, Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, Sir Donald Irvine, Professor Ian Isherwood, Rudolf Klein, Professor Donald Longmore, Annabelle Mark, Robert Maxwell, Professor Alan Maynard, Pauline Munro, Anthony Pinching, Simon Pleydell, Irene Roberts, Professor Jane Robinson, Henry Rollin, Sir Brian Salmon, Professor Karol Sikora, John Smith, Professor Patsy Stark, Professor Robert Steiner, Barbara Stilwell, Sir Eric Stroud, Professor P K Thomas, James Thomson, Sir Leslie Turnberg, Professor Owen Wade, Diana Walford, Lord Walton, Professor Michael Warren, John Wickham, David Willetts, Susan Williams, Professor Jenifer Wilson-Barnett, Eve Wiltshaw, Antony Wing, John Yates and colleagues at the King’s Fund, Nuffield Provincial Hospitals Trust and the Department of Health. My thanks are due, in particular, to staff of St George’s and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith. The librarians at the Royal Society of Medicine, the Department of Health and the West Suffolk Hospital were most helpful.

The columns of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) provided a vast amount of material, and have helped to prevent the omission of significant developments; readers should be aware that the BMJ has editorial freedom and its views are not necessarily those of the British Medical Association.

I am particularly grateful to the Dunhill Medical Trust for its ready support during the writing of this book and to the King’s Fund Grants Committee for a substantial contribution to the costs of publication.

The views expressed are mine and do not necessarily reflect the policy of the Nuffield Trust, or The King's Fund, who were formerly publishers of sections of this work.

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