NHS on Film
Film has the power to change lives – and even save them. No surprise, then, that moving images have played an important role in one of the world’s greatest public health services.
Ever since the foundation of the National Health Service in 1948, talented filmmakers have aided the cause of Britain’s health via documentary, drama and animation. Films of the 1940s announced the creation of the welfare state, and moving image was soon being used for a host of other NHS purposes - from major public health campaigns (reaching their zenith in the form of the much loved Public Information Filler on TV) to fascinating recruitment and training initiatives behind the scenes. Later, an observant, and sometimes more critical, eye was cast on the health system by TV documentary and current affairs. This collection charts revealing changes in creative technique, public health and society itself.
Animation & Artists Moving Image19489 mins
Long before the ‘Charley Says’ campaign of the 1970s and ‘80s, another cartoon Charley was used to demystify the newly created NHS.
Training film/TV programme200218 mins
Imelda Staunton and Hugh Laurie as you've not quite seen them before: in a comedy training video for Britain’s National Blood Service.
Government sponsored film194859 mins
Britain’s first Polio epidemic in 1947 demanded a coordinated response, and this film was a key part of readying postwar doctors for a new fight
194629 mins Location: Roffey Park (College)
The treatment of World War II Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – filmed, astonishingly, in full colour.
The Community Health Council of Wales blows its own trumpet in myriad ways, including animation, to draw attention to their NHS advisory service.
Public Information Filler20031 mins
One of the most gruesomely memorable of all British anti-smoking promos depicts fat oozing out of nonchalant smokers' cigarettes.
A GP in rural Somerset and one in Kentish Town, London, reflect on “what is a General Practitioner in the 1980s?”
Reporter Michèle Brown visits London's Western Hospital, where a computer is on the medical staff to help doctors with routine doctor\patient consultations.
Training film/TV programme196530 mins
Who will be the ‘one’? This medical drama-doc, exploring mental health and illness, is stylish, nail-biting stuff.
Government sponsored film194910 mins
Eleanor Roosevelt and Michael Redgrave narrate this optimistic post-war film on the rehabilitation of disabled people with polio.
An interesting documentary on psychiatric provision, set at a Plymouth day hospital and originally produced for nursing recruitment.
Nurses needed: this early 21st century recruitment video makes fascinating viewing today.
Patients at Epsom’s Manor Hospital learn new skills: an important record of changing attitudes about learning difficulty
Public Information Filler195513 mins
The working day is all go for a rural GP – from morning surgery to numerous home visits to patients.
School programme and Educational film196311 mins
The anti-smoking campaign starts here, with the first ever anti-tobacco film – and very impressive it is too.
Public Information Filler19813 mins
Glenda Jackson makes a song and a dance about giving blood – in a wise-cracking double act with Ernie Wise.
Prevention of cross Infection: Respiratory Tract Infection in Children's WardsPrevention of cross Infection: Respiratory Tract Infection in Children's Wards
How an outbreak of streptococcal infection spreads – droplet by droplet – and how it can be prevented.
Dark shadows in miners' lungs and lives, as the threat of pneumoconiosis is made worse by changes to the benefits that compensate for its effects.
Mining Review 1st Year No. 11: Dust – RehabilitationMining Review 1st Year No. 11: Dust – Rehabilitation
Looking at the problem of miners who’ve developed pneumoconiosis, or dust disease
Doctors undertake forensic-style detective work to identify the origins of outbreaks, in the fascinating film from the early days of the NHS.
Look after Yourself! An Explanatory Tape for Adult EducatorsLook after Yourself! An Explanatory Tape for Adult Educators
A lo-fi health advice video from the depths of the '80s offering a window into a land before lycra.
The titular G.P. makes the case for an unrestrained American-style health service, as opposed to Britain’s supposedly bureaucratic system, in this interview with Barbara Kelly.
Cinemagazine196814 mins Location: Witney
Behind the scenes at the new Witney Health Centre where GPs, midwives, district nurses and social workers work efficiently under one roof.
Amateur film196217 minsSilent Location: Cambridge
The filmic memoirs in Cambridgeshire of heart surgeon Christopher Parish and his family, beginning with Christmas traditions, and including a royal visit. The year is 1962.
Public Information Filler19871 mins
Portentous imagery and John Hurt’s grave voiceover define this key film from a £5 million campaign to combat the AIDS epidemic.
National Blood Service: Chief Executive's up-date, November 2001National Blood Service: Chief Executive's up-date, November 2001
Sponsored film200119 mins
Martin Gorham presents a video update to his staff, outlining some of his department's past achievements and upcoming challenges.
Northampton District Health Authority: Community Health and Other ServicesNorthampton District Health Authority: Community Health and Other Services
Third and final part of a series made to explain to new members and present staff the administration of the Northamptonshire Health District.
The newly established health authority explains to its members the effects of a recent restructure.
Northampton District Health Authority: Staff and Patient CareNorthampton District Health Authority: Staff and Patient Care
Second part of a series made to explain to new members and present staff the finances of the Northamptonshire Health District.
Straight-talking anti-smoking promo, which introduces us to Janice, a 51-year-old woman who uses a ventilator to breathe.
This 1993 profile of local dentist, Brian Harvey, shows how he splits his time between a local practice and an advisory role - while leaving ample time to socialise at the local rotary club.