The creation of the Faculty of Community Medicine (now the Faculty of Public Health Medicine) of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom.
Journal of Public Health Medicine, 19
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The National Health Service Act 1946 transferred responsibility for the non-voluntary hospitals and certain clinical services from the public health departments of counties and county boroughs to new regional hospital boards, thereby substantially reducing the functions of their medical officers of health and creating a separate cadre of doctors concerned with the planning and management of hospital and specialist services. At around the same time there was pressure to develop in each medical school a department of social and preventive medicine with full-time staff involved in research work. Reviewing the situation 20 years later, the Royal Commission on Medical Education recommended that doctors in public health, medical administration or related teaching and research should form a single professional body concerned with the assessment of specialist training for and standards of practice in 'community medicine'. Immediately after the publication of the Commission's Report in 1968, J. N. Morris invited leaders in the three strands of activities to meet and discuss the proposal. A series of informal meetings led to the setting up, in 1969, of a Working Party (chairman, J. N. Morris) which negotiated with the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh, Glasgow and London for them to create a faculty of community medicine. In November 1970 the Colleges set up a Provisional Council (chairman, W. G. Harding), later Board, and the Faculty formally came into existence on 15 March 1972. The key decisions and some of the complications and hitches encountered in achieving this radical outcome are described in this paper.
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