Devo-Then, Devo-Now: What can the history of the NHS tell us about localism and devolution in health and care?

Transcript available here

Symposium organised by the Centre for History in Public Health, LSHTM, and the Institute of Public Policy Research, with support from the Wellcome Trust on the 9th May 2017.

This symposium brought together historians and policy makers to ask what we could learn from 20th century British history about the decentralisation of health powers and the local reform agenda. Greater devolution has been common ground in public policy in recent years, both across the four nations of the UK, and subsequently to regions and local authorities – with devo-Manc and STPs at the forefront of peoples’ minds. Yet there is a much longer history of debate and dillemmas in the British health system about striking the proper balance between the central and the local, that goes right back to before the NHS. Our aim was to explore that history, and see what light it may shed on today’s policy puzzles.

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