Fifty years ahead of its time?
The provident dispensaries movement in Manchester, 1871–85
in People, places and identities
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

Martin Hewitt’s chapter on the history of the provident dispensary movement, initiated in the 1870s by the social reformer, Dr John Watts asks why provident dispensaries, unlike the Hospital Funds movement, have been largely neglected in the scholarship of medical philanthropy although, as Hewitt argues, those in Manchester were central to national debates over hospital reform and served as a model for similar initiatives in other parts of the country. The establishment of provident dispensaries in the city encapsulated many of the challenges which impeded the development of medical provision for the working-classes, as in the tensions which Hewitt illustrates in relation to the professional status and expectations of medical men, concerned about the movement’s threats to their fees and status. Watt’s scheme of provident dispensaries, which aimed to promote ‘a general scheme of medical insurance’, was ahead of its time, symptomatic, Hewitt argues, of the pitfalls which faced those committed to the establishment of a comprehensive system of healthcare in the late-Victorian period.

People, places and identities

Themes in British social and cultural history, 1700s–1980s

Editors: Alan Kidd and Melanie Tebbutt


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 26 3 1
Full Text Views 21 4 0
PDF Downloads 23 3 0