The history of health care is complex, confusing, and contested. It involves more than just the creation of hospitals and dispensaries, infirmaries, and health centers. There are also royal colleges, trades unions, medical schools, nurses’ homes, coroners’ courts, nursing sisterhoods, ambulance stations, patients’ organizations, and medical missions.
Usually, to enhance our understanding we sit and read books, or, nowadays, surf the Internet. But it’s more fun to go out, visit the buildings where events unfolded and transport yourself back in time. The story of how health care has developed from medieval times to the present day is told through seven walks in central London, each with a key theme.
The book takes as much interest in one of the six ambulance stations build in 1915 by the London County Council as it does in the grandest teaching hospital. Although some important buildings have been destroyed, and others are threatened, many remain. The walks aim to help preserve our legacy as, increasingly, former health care buildings are converted into hotels, offices, homes, and shops. Awareness of their original functions is in danger of being lost. The book also aims to increase our understanding of the current challenges we face in trying to improve health care. For there are many lessons to be learnt from the past.
Packed full of curious and surprising facts about medicine and beautifully illustrated with maps, photographs, and images, this is the perfect guide book for anyone with a passion for urban walks, the history of London, and, of course, medicine.
Westminster Hall, 13 December 1828. Midnight.
Thousands are massed outside. Newspapers are holding their presses.
James Lambert, a young apothecary-surgeon, has accused a leading surgeon at Guy’s Hospital of killing a patient. Never before has a doctor’s competence been challenged in a court.
What drove him to take on the medical establishment, risking everything he’d always wanted?
For two centuries his contribution to the making of modern health care has lain unrecognised.
This novel, based on true events, tells his extraordinary story.