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People, Places and IdentitiesThemes in British Social and Cultural History, 1700s-1980s$
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Alan Kidd and Melanie Tebbutt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780719090356

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719090356.001.0001

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Fifty years ahead of its time? The provident dispensaries movement in Manchester, 1871–85

Fifty years ahead of its time? The provident dispensaries movement in Manchester, 1871–85

Chapter:
(p.84) 4 Fifty years ahead of its time? The provident dispensaries movement in Manchester, 1871–85
Source:
People, Places and Identities
Author(s):

Martin Hewitt

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719090356.003.0005

Martin Hewitt’s chapter on the history of the provident dispensary movement, initiated in the 1870s by the social reformer, Dr John Watts asks why provident dispensaries, unlike the Hospital Funds movement, have been largely neglected in the scholarship of medical philanthropy although, as Hewitt argues, those in Manchester were central to national debates over hospital reform and served as a model for similar initiatives in other parts of the country. The establishment of provident dispensaries in the city encapsulated many of the challenges which impeded the development of medical provision for the working-classes, as in the tensions which Hewitt illustrates in relation to the professional status and expectations of medical men, concerned about the movement’s threats to their fees and status. Watt’s scheme of provident dispensaries, which aimed to promote ‘a general scheme of medical insurance’, was ahead of its time, symptomatic, Hewitt argues, of the pitfalls which faced those committed to the establishment of a comprehensive system of healthcare in the late-Victorian period.

Keywords:   Manchester, Philanthropy, Self-help, Social reform

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