A Social History of Medicine traces the development of medical practice from the Industrial Revolution right through to the twentieth century. Drawing on a wide range of source material, it charts the changing relationship between patients and practitioners over this period, exploring the impact made by institutional care, government intervention and scientific discovery. The study illuminates the extent to which medical assistance really was available to patients over the period, by focusing on provincial areas and using local sources. It introduces a variety of contemporary medical practitioners, some of them hitherto unknown and with fascinating intricate details of their work. The text offers an extensive thematic survey, including coverage of: * institutions such as hospitals, dispensaries, asylums and prisons * midwifery and nursing * infections and how changes in science have affected disease control * contraception, war, and the NHS.