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Neglected roots of regionalism? The Commissioners for the Special Areas and Grants to Hospital Services in the 1930s

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  • J. Mohan
The inter-war years in the UK were notable for debates about the extent to which an extension of state intervention in hospital provision was desirable and necessary, and about the limits to and future of the voluntary hospital system which relied largely on various forms of private charity. These themes were intertwined in the UK's ‘Special Areas’, locations recognized as having suffered adversely from the inter-war depression, with consequent effects on their ability to finance desirable investments in social infrastructures. Grant aid was offered to hospitals in these locations under the terms of the Special Areas legislation of 1934, but there were extensive debates about the principle and practice of such subsidies to hospital development. This paper reviews these debates and considers whether the measures taken by the Commissioners can be seen as neglected antecedents of the regionalism detected in British hospital policy by several commentators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-262
Number of pages20
JournalSocial History of Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997

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