Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Health care is one area in which the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland since 1945 has experienced a distinctive arrangement compared with other Western industrialized societies. In 1948, a single service funded from general taxation was established to provide comprehensive and universally available health care. This National Health Service was available to all and free at the point of delivery. It has continued to dominate the British health-care system ever since. This article examines the development of this unique form of health service and considers the many pressures and changes it has faced. Also assessed are current issues and key concerns facing the system.

Original publication





Book title

International Encyclopedia of Public Health

Publication Date



293 - 300