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Evacuation: prelude to patient participation

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175 children monitored by the DH Some of the 175 children being monitored by the Ministry of Health during their evacuation from Bristol to the Kingsbridge area of Devon

Operation Pied Piper was the unfortunate name given to the wartime evacuation scheme which has been the focus of my research over the last 20 years. Throughout this period testimony, both oral and written, has been collected from evacuees during the Second World War, revealing much about the provision of healthcare/welfare just prior to the introduction of the NHS.

It is generally agreed that the war acted as the catalyst for a comprehensive healthcare system providing accessible care ‘from the cradle to the grave’.

My research led to a number of publications which indicated that some evacuees’ memories, of what is nowadays perceived as new, actually occurred including a sense of involvement with the professionals caring for them.

As a former evacuee and now as a patient/service user representative with the Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust this article considers two specific examples of service user participation in healthcare and welfare provision separated regionally (Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire) and chronologically by 70 years.

World War Two


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