National Assistance Board

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The National Assistance Board was established by the National Assistance Act 1948 and abolished by the Supplementary Benefit Act 1966. It was preceded by the Unemployment Assistance Board (known from 1941 as the Assistance Board)[1] and succeeded by the Supplementary Benefit Commission.

There was a separate National Assistance Board of Northern Ireland.

The National Assistance Act 1946 required local authorities, under the control of the board, to provide residential accommodation for older and disabled people ‘in need of care and attention which is not otherwise available to them’. They were also able to register and inspect homes run by charitable (non-profit) and private (for profit) organizations and to contribute to independent organizations providing ‘recreation or meals for old people’ or themselves provide these, or day centres, clubs etc.[2]


Sir Harold Fieldhouse was Secretary of the Board from 1948 until 1959 when he was succeeded by Sir Donald Sargent.[3] The Under-Secretary from 1946–1950 was Hubert Bentliff.[4]

Public depiction[edit]

In 1970 the Brighton Combination, of which Jim Carter was a member presented "The NAB Show", a politically oriented account of the Board.[5]


Other members[edit]


  1. ^ George Victor, Social Security Beveridge and After (Routledge, 2013) page 73.
  2. ^ Thane, Pat. "MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS' HEALTH COMMITTEE INQUIRY: SOCIAL CARE OCTOBER 2009" (PDF). History and Policy. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  3. ^ Viet-Wilson, John. "THE NATIONAL ASSISTANCE BOARD AND THE 'REDISCOVERY' OF POVERTY" (PDF). Welfare Policy in Britain: The Road from 1945. Palgrave. Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Mr. H. D. Bentliff." Times [London, England] 22 April 1953.
  5. ^ Philip Roberts, The Royal Court Theatre, 1965–1972 (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul plc, 1986), pp.128–129. Retrieved 6 November 2011 in