Arthur Newsholme and English public health administration 1888-1919.
England came to have a nation-wide administrative system for public health in the
1870s. It consisted of the local councils which were designated as sanitary authorities
and the Local Government Board (LGB) as the central department. This thesis
explores how public health reform was pursued under this administrative system, by
tracing the career of Arthur Newsholme (1857-1943), who served as Medical Officer of
Health (MOH) for Brighton, 1888-1908, and as Medical Officer to the LGB, 1908-19.
The main aim of the thesis is to examine the activities in which Newsholme was
involved and his views, in order to consider the development of public health activities,
or state medicine, in relation to the traditional notions of government and society in
England, that underlay the administrative system such as 'minimal government',
, local self-government' or 'voluntarism'. The first half of the thesis deals with public
health reform in Brighton during Newsholme's years of office as local MOH.
Particular attention is paid to how the scope of public health administration was
decided through interactions between the MOH and the local council as a
representative body of the community, and to how voluntary efforts were involved in
its extension. The second half deals with Newsholme's administrative ideas and
activities in the process of, and after, becoming the country's leading health official. By
the time of his assumption of office at the LGB, Newsholme envisaged a
comprehensive state medical service as the ultimate medical ideal. The thesis
examines how he tried to pursue this ideal by means of reconciling it with traditional
ideas of government. Special attention is paid to Newsholme's difference from his
fellow reformers such as the Webbs and George Newman, particularly in respect of
their recognition of the framework of centralllocal relations that underlay the
administrative system, and concerning how reforms should or could be proceeded with
by means of central bureaucratic initiatives.