The NHS should not be regarded as something fixed and immutable and the private possession of Mr Bevan.
The beginning of the second decade of the NHS saw the end of the years of post-war austerity.
The NHS was also about to make substantial progress.
Public opinion surveys showed that the vast majority wanted the NHS to continue, with or without modification.
The Lancet, which had initially feared that the NHS would prove inflexible, was pleased this was not so.
Having urged government to take tuberculosis more seriously and build to provide more beds, this was not now necessary.
In the face of the shocking over-crowding of mental hospitals, more beds seemed to be needed.
Now enterprising hospital units were looking at a system in which most patients would go on living at home while under treatment.
Within another ten years one might be wondering what to do with the many mental hospitals that were plainly unsuitable for the proper practice of psychiatry.
The Lancet noted that fresh approaches were affecting the nature of the hospital itself; many more patients would in future visit the hospital instead of living in it.
‘Cafeteria medicine’ had a real future and it was futile to waste the service of skilled nurses on people who did not in the least require them.
GPs should pay close attention to the way in which hospitals were reaching out ever further towards the home.