Frances &

Birth of the NHS in Norwich

At the outbreak of WWII, for most people in Norwich access to healthcare relied on membership of quasi-insurance schemes. The primarily hospital scheme was by weekly payments to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital which exempted contributors and their dependants from hospital charges. In the 1930s, around 80% of hospital in-patients were members of the scheme. The major alternative was the Norwich Friendly Society, whose members had access to the doctors at the Medical Institute on Lady’s Lane. However, many had no medical cover at all and had to rely on the good will of the doctors and medical establishment. All of that changed after the war when in 1948 with the launch of the National Health Service everybody gained the right to medical care according to their need..

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Nurses at the Jenny Lind Hospital
Nurses at the Jenny Lind Hospital at Christmas c.1955