By Freda Clarke
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Additional resources for Hospital at Home: The Alternative to General Hospital Admission
5> The main body of the medical profession was not opposed to Foundations of modern health care state intervention in all health matters. In general, doctors welcomed it as a means of action in their favour when they did not wish to, or could not, take action themselves. With voluntary hospitals outside the orbit of statutory control and problems resulting from lack of co-ordination between public and voluntary hospitals (or between one voluntary hospital and another) there were many aspects of patient or professional interest in which they were unable to take effective action.
First, they recognised a need to distinguish, for planning purposes, between the fit and the healthy: raising in an oblique way conflicts of prevention and cure in the roles ofGPs. Secondly, they introduced categories of patients defined according to levels and varieties of needs, rather than by medical specialities. Taken together, these two concepts The National Health Service pointed to possibilities of organisational changes which could have provided adequately for patients with high levels and wide varieties of needs, without necessarily institutionalising them.
Certainly they were fundamental to many of the seemingly intractable problems experienced in its organisation ever since that time. Nevertheless, the creation of the NHS was a milestone as a measure of co-ordination and rationalisation, following many years of largely unplanned development in the health field. It also signified a new era of state acceptance of responsibility for comprehensive health and The National Health Service 37 welfare- even if it did not provide successive Governments with powers to meet that responsibility in full.