Section of poster advertising vaccination for smallpox (Catalogue reference: MH 12/5968/2)

This is a brief guide to help you find records about health policy and administration, including policies on nursing. The Ministry of Health records at The National Archives are wide-ranging and cover many aspects of the development of health policy in Britain.

  • What records can I see online?

    • Parliamentary Papers (1688-1834)

      Search the Parliamentary Papers (institutional subscription required) for digitised copies of official papers published by the House of Commons and House of Lords.

  • What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

Did you know?

The Local Government Board was established in 1871. It was formed from the Poor Law Board, the Local Government Act Office of the Home Office and the Medical Department of the Privy Council Office. It had primary responsibility for supervision of local government services.

The Ministry of Health was established under the Ministry of Health Act 1919 and assumed the powers and duties of the Local Government Board and the National Health Insurance Commissions for England and Wales, together with powers of the Privy Council under the Midwives Acts.

Before the National Health Service was established in 1948 healthcare was fragmented with no central control.