1917 UK Health Problems Pamphlet
The recruitment of men to fight in the First World War highlighted the poor health of many of those who enlisted. By the 1910s, public health services were provided through a system of charitable voluntary hospitals and workhouses. Some were administered under the Poor Law through the Local Government Board. In April 1917 Lord Rhondda, President of the Local Government Board, proposed to Lloyd George's Cabinet that a Ministry of Health should take over the functions of the Board and Poor Law administration. The Government's Reconstruction Committee, set up to oversee the rebuilding of the nation after the war, approved of this proposal. Later in the same year in a lecture given at the Royal Institute of Public Health, Major Waldorf Astor MP confirmed the need for one central health department. In 1919 the Government passed an Act which established a Ministry of Health to exercise powers with respect to public health in England and Wales and to promote the health of the people.
Pamphlet on the need for a Ministry of Health
Parliamentary Archives, LG/F/177/1/3