Public Health in the 1980s and 1990s: Decline and rise?
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The 1974 reorganization of the National Health Service was largely seen as a disaster for the public health profession. The post of Medical Officer of Health, with its links to local government, was replaced by the community physician, located within health services. The technician-manager rather than the activist role predominated: community medicine doctors carried little weight by comparison with their clinical colleagues. Chaired by Professor Virginia Berridge this Witness Seminar examined the decline and rise of 'public health' both nationally and internationally in the 1980s and 1990s: the impact of the 1988 Acheson Report on public health medicine on a demoralized profession; the role of new ideas about health promotion imported from the international scene; the rise of evidence-based medicine and health services research, and their impact on public health; and the movement for multidisciplinary public health (MDPH) as a new avenue for public health from the 1990s. Participants included Professor Sir Donald Acheson, Professor John Ashton, Professor Nick Black, Professor David Blane, Dr Tim Carter, Sir Iain Chalmers, Dr Aileen Clarke, Dr June Crown, Dr Jeff French, Professor Alan Glynn, Ms Shirley Goodwin, Professor Rod Griffiths, Professor Walter Holland, Professor Klim McPherson, Dr Ornella Moscucci, Dr Geoffrey Rivett, Professor Alwyn Smith and Professor Ann Taket. Berridge V, Christie D A, Tansey E M. (eds) (2006) Public health in the 1980s and 1990s: Decline and rise? Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine, vol. 26. London: The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL.