Florence Nightingale and Public Health Essay

Submitted By mollypitts
Words: 833
Pages: 4

What is public health?
The origins of public health started in the 19th century. Florence Nightingale came from an upper class family, yet she wanted a career as a nurse (1837) her parents wouldn’t allow it as they felt nursing was below her class. In 1851 they took an exception to Florence’s wishes. She went to Germany for three months of nursing training – this allowed her to become superintendent of a hospital for gentlewomen (1853). The year after the Crimean War started. Soon reports were in the newspapers describing the desperate lack of correct medical services for wounded British soldiers at the front. The war minister (who already knew Florence) asked her to oversee a team of nurses in the military hospitals in Turkey. (1854) Florence led a group of 38 women to take over the management of the barrack hospital at Scutari where she observed the dreadful sterile conditions. In 1860, she established the ‘Nightingale Training School for nurses’ at St Thomas' Hospital in London. Once nurses were trained, they were sent to hospitals all over Britain, where they introduced the ideas they had learned. Nightingale's theories were published in 'Notes on Nursing' (1860), were hugely influential and her concerns for sanitation, military health and hospital planning established practices which are still in existence today. From this public health came into practise as Florence was inspiration providing care for the health and wellbeing of others (soldiers).

Poor law act (1834) - This act was created to take beggers off the streets, reduce costs of looking after the poor and encourage people to look for jobs and work hard. It was the first link between health of our nation, and the effect it has on it. The importance of this was that it was the first step to improving health and wellbeing. This worked successfully.
Beveridge report (1942) - this was created to banish poverty and the ‘want’ from Britain after the war. This report was committed to improving the health of our nation by making every one of working age would pay a weekly national insurance contribution. In return benefits would be paid to the sick, widowed, retired, and unemployed. There would also be an allowance for families. Due to this being in the war time it meant they were in no position to start the NHS; but the central government still took responsibility of the health of our nation.
Public health act (1948) – once the war had ended the NHS was developed, which means money was spent on improving public health which was therefore cost effective. Some of the ideas Edwin Chadwick suggests was “ improved drainage and provision of sewers the removal of all refuse from houses, streets and roads the provision of clean drinking water the appointment of a medical officer for each town” noted www.parliament.uk/ The Acheson report (1998) – Donald Acheson wrote the report with intentions to outline the inequality’s in health. The report speaks about raising benefits for mothers and their children (as stated in the report, children up to the age of two are most expensive to care for but the poverty rates does not reflects on this.) news.bbc.co.uk also says “The report calls for restrictions on smoking in public places, a ban on tobacco advertising and promotion, mass educational initiatives, increases in the price…