National Health Service Act 1946

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The National Health Service Act 1946[1] came into effect on 5 July 1948 and created the National Health Service in England and Wales. Though the title 'National Health Service' implies a single health service for the United Kingdom, in reality one NHS was created for England and Wales accountable to the Secretary of State for Health, with a separate NHS created for Scotland accountable to the Secretary of State for Scotland by the passage of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1947.

The whole Act was repealed by the National Health Service Act 1977.[2]


According to s 1(1),

It shall be the duty of the Minister of Health … to promote the establishment … of a comprehensive health service designed to secure improvement in the physical and mental health of the people of England and Wales and the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness and for that purpose to provide or secure the effective provision of services …

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Health Service Act, 1946. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  2. ^ National Health Service Act 1977, Schedule 16 at