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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

The changing service user experience

Lawrence Benson gives a personal view on how treatment has improved during the NHS years

If you go back to the 1946 NHS Act you will see that the aim of the new health service was to improve both the physical and mental health of the country

Nye Bevan, the inspirational founder of the NHS, believed that improved and sustained mental health was key for the nation to thrive.

I have had a long association and appreciation of the NHS for most of its 70 years. I was born at home in Liverpool in 1962 with the help of a midwife and our family’s GP.

And now, more than half a century later, I work at a university business school with NHS staff on leadership programmes and also introduce business undergraduates to healthcare systems including the NHS.

When I left university with a history degree I was determined to become a public servant and got myself a NHS admin job. From 1985 to 1992 I was initially a NHS planner and then almost overnight in 1990 I became a NHS commissioner as purchasers and providers were created across the UK.

It was during the late 1980s and early 1990s that I had most to do with mental health in my career. I played a very small role in the closure and reprovision of mental health and mental handicap services (as they were then called) into the community.

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About Mental Health Nursing

This special edition of Mental Health Nursing has been produced to celebrate 70 years of the NHS. It includes features examining how mental health nursing has changed and developed over the decades.