1st Edition

The Nation's Doctor The Role of the Chief Medical Officer 1855-1998

By Sally Sheard, Liam Donaldson Copyright 2006

    This is the first major study of a significant post within the British government. Drawing on a wide range of archival sources and interviews with senior health professionals and politicians, this book positions the Chief Medical Officer as one of the most influential individuals within the Whitehall system, with personal responsibility for the health of the population. Through a number of case studies, including the 1950s smoking and lung caner issue, and the AIDS and BSE crises of the 1980s and 1990s, "The Nation's Doctor" examines how the CMO operates, drawing on expertise to inform the direction of government health policy.

    Contents: A doctor at the heart of government. Staffing the new state medicine. The insecure system. A Ministry of Health? The formation of the Local Government Board. Conclusion. The line of succession. After John Simon: restructuring the post of Medical Officer. A bigger pool: the appointment of 'external' CMOs. 1935: MacNalty vs. Jameson. Jameson: the 'Nation's Doctor'. Charles and Godber: succession crises. Professionalisation of Civil Service appointments. Conclusion. Navigating the corridors of power. Newman and the status of the CMO. Managing the tripartite relationship. The smoking and lung cancer issue. Size matters - re-establishing a strong CMO. Whitehall in the post-Fulton period. Selection of Permanent Secretaries. Accountability. Conclusion. Making advice count. Valuing expertise in Whitehall. The market value of the CMO. Managing the National Health Service. The Department of Health and Social Security. The impact of Whitehall reviews. A new Department of Health. Reviews of senior medical civil servants. The 1994 Banks review. The National Health Service. The importance of location. Conclusion. A doctor's doctor? The emergence of 'state medicine'. Medical Royal Colleges. The British Medical Association and the National Health Service. Engaging with the doctors' trade union. Post-NHS relationships. One of Us? Castle, Yellowlees and the Pay Beds dispute. Conclusion. Engaging External Expertise. The Ministry of Health and the Medical Research Council. External influences on policy. The Nuffield Trust and the Kings Fund. AIDS - a plague for the twentieth century. The BSE crisis. Conclusion. The nation's doctor. John Simon and freedom of speech. The tradition of Chief Medical Officer's Annual Reports. On the State of the Public Health. Guidance for the medical profession. Jameson - the fireside CMO. Don't die of Ignorance. Conclusion. Reflections: a job is what you make it. The essential qualities. Seizing the day. Re-defining the health agenda. A National Medical Service? The wider arena. Crisis management. Life after CMO?


    Sally Sheard, Liam Donaldson