The NHS

The NHS and the 'sick note': Laurie Taylor talks to Gareth Millward, Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in Odense, and author of a new study which explores the history of the British welfare state via the story of the ‘sick note’. It turns out that the question of ‘who is really sick? was never straightforward. At various times, it was understood that a signed note from a doctor was not enough to 'prove' whether someone was really sick, yet with no better alternative on offer, the sick note survived in practice and in the popular imagination - just like the welfare state itself.

They’re joined by Sally Sheard, Professor of History at the University of Liverpool, who charts the cultural history and changing understandings of healthcare and the NHS in Britain.

Producer: Jayne Egerton