This photo was taken of staff working at Worcester Royal Infirmary at Castle Street in 1948, the year the NHS was founded. The founder of the George Marshall Medical Museum, Mr. George Marshall, can be spotted in the second row, second from the left. After centuries of need, the NHS was inaugurated in 1948. It was arguably the most important development in medical help for the ordinary people of Britain. Prior to this, medical help was available in the form of the Poor Law workhouse hospitals or from subscription medical clubs, often organised by large employers.
When the Poor Law was abolished in 1929, the intended new system to replace it was not put in place due to a national financial crisis and then the Second World War. During the war, the government provided ambulances and free emergency care for many people as there were so many casualties from bombing raids. When the war ended, the public were adamant that the free health care should remain and the minister for health, Anuerin Bevan, passed a bill to create the National Health Service in 1948.