The evolution of the industrial relations function in the National Health Service 1974-80.

  • Glynis A. Crum

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Circular HM (72) issued by the DHSS in September 1972 set out the importance to the National Health Service of the establishment of a comprehensive approach to the development of the personnel function by the reorganised hospital authorities. The circular placed the responsibility for "effective personnel management" on the shoulders of line management and stressed the "supportive role" of the Personnel Officer. The future importance of the Industrial Relations function in the reorganised service was clearly not anticipated, and it is now evident that the demands and constraints experienced by Personnel Officers have produced important changes in the comprehensive nature of their role - in many cases industrial relations has become their primary responsibility. The period 1974 until 1980 was one of major change and pressure, and the growing awareness of structural faults in the National Health Service. In 1975 Lord McCarthy was appointed to investigate the continued functioning of Whitley Council machinery, and in 1976 Sir Alec Merrisan was commissioned to consider the working of the National Health Services. There was an obvious concentration on structure and structural modification. The relationships both inter and intra-organisational were not always objectively considered.
Date of Award1983
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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