On Tuesday the 18th
of April at 7pm at The Friends Meeting House Mount Street Manchester, Dr
Michael Whitfield will be giving a talk and presentation about Britain’s
forgotten Health-care system.
This event hosted
by the Manchester Victorian Society in partnership with Ancoats Dispensary
Trust will examine how healthcare was provided for the poor before the NHS came
into being in 1948. Ahead of the event Linda Carver, founder of Ancoats Dispensary Trust gives us some background to the subject:
At a time when all
is not well in the NHS and it is at a point of crisis, this talk is
particularly relevant as it will attempt to examine how people centuries ago
tried to find ways to help others who had been affected by serious
illnesses. Hospitals and GPs existed for
many years before the NHS but there was also another sort of institution that
helped to manage illness and that was – the dispensary.
At a time when
the Ardwick and Ancoats Dispensary (locally known as ‘Ancoats Hospital’) is on
the brink of being brought back to life by the Ancoats Dispensary Trust and
their partner igloo regeneration, this talk will throw light on why the
dispensaries including the one in Ancoats were so important.
The Ardwick &
Ancoats Dispensary locally known as ‘Ancoats Hospital’
Hospital itself was demolished in the late 1980s, the Dispensary remains. It still has Grade II listed status despite
it’s parlous condition and is a remarkable building that played a significant
part in the social and medical history of the country.
permission of Manchester Libraries. A
view of Ancoats during the 1950s
Industrial Revolution and the growth of urban populations any medical problem
affecting a worker was likely to result in poverty for the whole family. Admission to the workhouse was feared, so the
dispensaries were created to give medical care at no cost to the patient and
their family, enabling them to stay at home.
Dr Whitfield is a
retired Bristol GP who has written the first book about the Dispensaries He was a senior lecturer in GP practice in the
University of Bristol and has been writing about the history of medicine over
the last 10 years. Dr Whitfield will at
the end of his presentation challenge the audience as to whether anything can
be learned from the Dispensary system of healthcare.
Tickets are £10
on the door and copies of Dr Whitfield’s book will be on sale or can be ordered. Please arrive early to ensure a seat.
Dispensary Trust will have a presence at this event to answer any questions about the
progress of saving the Dispensary and its imminent restoration.
Guest blog for Manchester Histories by Linda Carver of Ancoats Dispensary Trust