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Title: The influence of the staff of the Ministry of Health on policies for nursing 1919-1968.
Author: Scott, Elizabeth J. C.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1994
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This thesis examines the role and influence of the administrative Civil Service on the development of policies on nursing and the role played by the nurses employed on the staff of the Ministry of Health. The period studied is the life time of the Ministry of Health, 1919- 1968. Throughout this period nurses were employed within the Ministry in various types of advisory roles. It was also a period when Ministers of Health, and consequently their Civil Servants, had legislative responsibilities and policy interests in the adequate provision of nursing services in hospital and public health services. - The main hypothesis addressed here is that throughout this period, the administrative Civil Service demonstrated a more constructive and realistic view of nursing and of the conthbution made by nurses to the delivery of health care services than the profession's own representatives and leaders. During this period there were five nursing issues which appeared as matters of concern to the Ministry, and while these issues were of concern to central government they could also have been expected to be of central importance to the nursing profession. These issues were nurse registration, recruitment, remuneration, education and training and management and they provide common themes running through this thesis. The study is presented in chronological order and these issues provide the subject context and illustrations of how decisions, on nursing issues, were taken in the Ministry of Health. Some historians and commentators have suggested that the nursing profession was curtailed in what it wanted to achieve for their profession by the Civil Service and the medical profession. In this thesis a contrary conclusion is drawn. Nursing appears as a leaderless profession, lacking any sense of cohesiveness, political awareness or assertiveness and consequently unable to exploit the available opportunities and political support to establish a voice for nursing in the formulation of health policies or in the distribution of resources. While the representatives and leaders of nursing were protecting professional boundaries it was the administrative civil servants who became involved in forward looking debates on the delivery of services and standard of nursing care.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History History Medical care