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Contagious Communities – Medicine, Migration, and the NHS in Post War Britain - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Contagious Communities: Medicine, Migration, and the NHS in Post War Britain

Roberta Bivins


It was only a coincidence that the NHS and the Empire Windrush (carrying 492 migrants from Britain’s West Indian colonies) arrived together. As the ship’s passengers disembarked in June 1948, frantic preparations were already underway for the July ‘Appointed Day’ when the nation’s new National Health Service would first open its doors. Yet the relationship between immigration and the NHS rapidly attained—and has enduringly retained—notable political and cultural significance. Both the Appointed Day and the post-war arrival of colonial and Commonwealth immigrants heralded transformative change. ... More

Keywords: migration, medicine, Britain, post-war, postcolonial, ethnicity, race, NHS, health, disease

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780198725282
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198725282.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Roberta Bivins, author
Associate Professor of the History of Medicine, University of Warwick