Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'New' welfare reforms in UK hark back to Victorians, historian argues

Date:
March 23, 2011
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
A historian draws parallels between past and present medical negligence in the UK.

The UK coalition government's planned NHS and welfare reforms, and their use of 'nudge' theory, hark back to ideas on welfare and recession from the end of the nineteenth century, according to studies by a University of Leicester historian whose research paper has recently been published in the Lancet.

Related Articles


Dr Kim Price's article is entitled, 'The crusade against out-relief: a nudge from history.'

Dr Price, a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in the School of Historical Studies, commented: "Broadly speaking, I am interested in medical negligence under state medicine and I have focused on the pre-NHS (pre-1948) welfare system in the UK.

"The instability of doctor-patient relations has led to a fragile balance of power that is by no means set for the foreseeable future.

"The welfare debate has been divided for centuries by ideologically-driven attitudes to philanthropically, privately or publicly funded medicine.

"I see medical negligence as a complex relationship between time and place and, to varying degrees, society, law, ethics, medical practice, health professionals, and patients."

In his paper in the Lancet, Dr Price argues that the UK's Coalition Government has begun to tackle the annual deficit with the language and policy aims from the recession of 1870.

In the late 19th century the Conservatives instigated a policy to cut back welfare expenditure and lessen reliance on poor law out-relief. This included cutting medical extras and payments to lone mothers, widows, the elderly, the chronically sick, and people who were disabled or had mental illness.

The result, Dr Price believes, lowered the health of many families and increased the number of people who could no longer be supported at home.

Dependency was criticised by both government and ratepayers, until by the 1880s the Victorian obsession with thrift and self-help had taken hold throughout the voting classes. Philanthropy and charity, however, could not compensate for government aid, and institutional care drove up national expenditure.

Dr Price argues that, under current UK Coalition government proposals for GP consortia, and its potential conflicts of interest, the doctor-patient relationship is in peril of shifting too far in favour of doctors and undermining the trust of patients.

This too harks back to 19th century Poor Law doctors who had to choose between their private and public patients, resulting in widespread neglect of the poor. As a result relations between doctors and poor patients suffered.

At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries the drive to cut welfare backfired and fuelled change. Liberal (and later, Labour) reformers raged against the "false economy" of a nation without welfare so that by the start of the 20th century, the tide had begun to turn.

The people's health took centre stage when working class people as a whole were allowed to vote, resulting in a series of Acts which led towards the creation of the National Health Service in 1948.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kim Price. The crusade against out-relief: a nudge from history. The Lancet, Volume 377, Issue 9770, Pages 988 - 989, 19 March 2011 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60376-0

Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "'New' welfare reforms in UK hark back to Victorians, historian argues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322105951.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2011, March 23). 'New' welfare reforms in UK hark back to Victorians, historian argues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322105951.htm
University of Leicester. "'New' welfare reforms in UK hark back to Victorians, historian argues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110322105951.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins