Email author

National Health Service History

Geoffrey Rivett

home inheritance1948-19571958-19671968-1977 1978-1987  1988-19971998-2007 2008-2017envoishort history London's hospitals




Medical and Institutional history of the National Health Service The Development of the London Hospital System, 1823 - 2013
Geoffrey Rivett From Cradle to Grave - the first 65 years of the NHS


Geoffrey Rivett writes contemporary medical and institutional history about the National Health Service and about the London hospital System.  His two books, originally published by the King's Fund, are kept up to date on internet on this site; navigate by using the links above.

Both books are in steady demand as the hits on the site demonstrate.   There are advantages in having easy access to your own copy and health service, medical and cnursing libraries certainly should have them.  The opriginal editions of both are out of print and are being brought up to date and are now available in revised second editions. 
They are available on a print on order basis on paper, as a pdf and as an e-book.  The books costs less than they did 20-30 years ago!

To order either of them, click on the image of the book on the right, or go to www.nhshistory.co.uk.
The Development of the London Hospital System starts in 1823 covers the roots of the hospitals, poor law, voluntary and fever, and how they came to be part of a system, a process continuing to this day.  It deals with the steps leading to the creation of the NHS better than the history of the NHS that takes the existence of th NHS as a given.
It costs from £5 to £25 depending on the format required.
new edition
The second book on the history of the National Health Service is of even wider interest, is substantially longer, includes much clinical material and sections nursing and medicine, as well as organisational, political and financial material.  From Cradle to Grave is the most substantial account available of the NHS since its inception - what has happened from 1948 onwards and why, rather than what people think will happen. A reviewer described it as "an epic story full of drama, tragedy, intrigue and many instances of humour."  Devolution has created major differences between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the latter three countries are not specifically considered; neither do I stray into social services, dentistry or research.  Chapter 6 and chapter 7 have now been re-written and improved.


It too is being re-issued as a second edition and the additions since the first edition ended in 1998 now make it necessary to split it into two volumes.  The first volume that covers the first four decades is finished and it can now be purchased in hard copy, as a pdf or an I book, which is far cheaper.  Links will take you to the publisher's website, and you purchase a book and not a download it will usually be delivered within 7-10 days by courier. The second part covering 1988 to the present will be available by the end of the year 2014.  The writing of the two new chapters covering the period since 1998 is now virtually complete.  A few interviews and detailed sub-editing now remain. 


book cover



Recent additions to the text include

CQC 'not fit for purpose' - Keogh report and eleven hospitals in special measures
Keogh Reports on A&E and Seven day hospitals.
NHS England appoints Simon Stevens to replace Nicholson
Francis Report on Staffordshire & DH final response
Updated financial note (Parliamentary)
Site contents include
inheritance of the NHS in 1948 and the events from 1948 by decade

a summary of the past decades
a simple guide to the NHS (recently revised)and a link to BBC Archives on the NHS
a list of CMOs & Ministers pre and post 1948
Financial information,
earlier (for the UK) and later (for England) periods - see Parliamentary briefing)
site contents

Geoffrey Rivett  asserts intellectual ownership/copyright over this material.  However, you are at liberty to download the text for personal use, but not for commercial reproduction in another publication or web site, or for multiple copying for academic or business purposes.  You may use material from this site referencing as Rivett G. C. National Health Service History n.d. retrieved 8 July 2009 from www.nhshistory.net  (give correct date)

Declaration of interest:  I create, design and manage this site.  It receives no financial support from any quarter, and I am retired and neither in employment nor act in any consultant capacity. I welcome feedback.

eXTReMe Tracker
Visit Us On Facebook Visit Us On Facebook 








home inheritance1948-19571958-19671968-1977 1978-1987 1988-1997  1998-2007 2008-2017envoishort history London's hospitals



Geoffrey Rivett©