Improving the common weal, aspects of Scottish Health Services 1900-1984

Essays on the development of health care in Scotland over the last century.


Published: 01/12/1987

ISBN: 0852245513

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This book was originally conceived and planned in 1982, by Sir John Brotherston, Chief Medical Officer at the Scottish Home and Health Department, and Professor of Public Health and Social Medicine, University of Edinburgh. It was intended as a present to him, in recognition of his great services in the field of public health. Instead, it has become a memorial volume, but one that truly reflects his wide interests, passionate enthusiasm, and vision.

Sir John, as Chief Medical Officer, as Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Edinburgh, and as Chairman of the Education Committee of the GMC, pioneered the integration of the work of general practitioners, hospital staff, and Public Health Services, in Scotland and beyond. His belief in the need for a unified health service is the leitmotif that gives this book its structures, and makes it much more than a collection of independent essays.

It begins with an extensive review, drafted by Sir John, of the origins and growth of public health services and of medical care in Scotland, from the 19th century to 1984. It then examines the three main branches of the National Health Service: general practice; the hospitals; the public health services.

The third part considers such special areas as mental health, geriatrics, tuberculosis, maternity and child welfare, microbiology services, nursing, and the medical services in the Highlands and Islands.

The book concludes with studies of the Scottish medical schools, the impact of new technology vital statistics, health information services, and economic aspects of health care.

Suggested citation

McLachlan G (1987) Improving the common weal, aspects of Scottish Health Services 1900-1984. Nuffield Trust.