The 1848 Public Health Act was the first step on the road to improved public health. One of the individuals who played an important role in its creation was Edwin Chadwick, a social reformer. He considered that the most important steps to improve the health of the public were:
• improved drainage and provision of sewers
• the removal of all refuse from houses, streets and roads
• the provision of clean drinking water
• the appointment of a medical officer for each town
After much campaigning by the Health of Towns Association, and another severe outbreak of cholera in 1848, the government was forced to act, and the Public Health Act of 1848 was passed. The Act as it was passed was not perfect but was an important step forward.
- Fee E. & Brown TM (2005) The public Health Acto of 1848. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 83(11): 866 – 867 (http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/83/11/866.pdf)
- UK Parliment. The 1848 Public Health Act. (http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/towncountry/towns/tyne-and-wear-case-study/about-the-group/public-administration/the-1848-public-health-act/)