Developments in patient care

Developments in patient care

Middle Ages Patient Care (c500-1500)

  • Hospitals: Primarily a place for the poor and for travellers to rest, rather than for medical treatment. Run mainly by the church or wealthy individuals.
  • Monasteries and Convents: Often provided care for the sick and injured. Monks and nuns had some knowledge of herbal remedies.
  • Home Care: Most people would be cared for at home by family members with herbal remedies, prayers and charms.

Early Modern Patient Care (1500-1750)

  • Increased hospitals: Still mainly for poor, but more established medical treatment options.
  • Plague orders: In response to regular plagues, homes with infected individuals were marked and quarantined.
  • ‘Wise Women’: In rural areas, local ‘wise women’ offered home remedies and basic medical aid.

19th Century Patient Care (1800-1900)

  • Public health acts: Improvements in sanitation and cleanliness led to decreased illness.
  • Florence Nightingale’s influence: Led to changes in nursing and hospital organisation improving patient care drastically.
  • Workhouse infirmaries: Provided for the sick poor but conditions were often poor.

20th Century Patient Care to Present (1900-Present)

  • NHS formation: Free healthcare for all, significantly transformed patient care in Britain.
  • Antibiotics: The discovery and wide use of antibiotics transformed patient recovery rates.
  • Specialised hospitals and wards: Focus on specific diseases or types of care led to more tailored treatments.
  • Home visits: Expansion of GP home visits provided more convenient care for patients.
  • Hospice movement: Specialised care for the terminally ill focusing on pain relief and quality of life.
  • Mental health care: Deinstitutionalisation movement led to care more focused on therapy and community-based services.