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Before the NHS, pre-1948, the Poor Law offered relief to the poor and workhouses provided their own infirmaries. Indeed it was from a London workhouse that the announcement of the NHS was made, although it was not until the 1930s that the NHS had expanded its hospital provision by taking on the Poor Law hospitals.
The Ripon Infirmary still stands, now Community House, within the grounds of the Workhouse Museum.
Enjoy these memories and explore the NHS of the past with our fun quiz and pictorial puzzle which have been compiled by our volunteers.
We have another very human link to the NHS - through our marvellous volunteers. We have quite a large contingent of ex-NHS staff volunteering throughout the Museum, who contribute their knowledge, fabulous people skills, stringent hygiene standards and ability to cope magnificently in a crisis to all our (non-surgical!) operations. They've shared their memories of the NHS with us below.
The Museum is always looking for more volunteers - so please get in touch if you'd like to know more