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Occupational Therapy and the National Health Service, 1948-1998

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Much of the history of occupational therapy is associated with the history of the National Health Service (NHS). As the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the NHS on 5 July 1948, it is fitting to reflect on the development of the profession over the past half century and how it has adapted to the many medical, technological, demographic and social changes.

In 1948, the profession comprised a small band of mainly middle-class women, who worked under medical direction with long-stay patients in a hospital setting. In 1998, over 18,000 occupational therapists are state-registered. Having gained degree-entry status practitioners are increasingly self-directed and research-focused, and they work in a wide range of settings with all age-groups: a profession reflecting the ideals of the NHS to provide a service from 'the cradle to the grave'.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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