Public Health System

An opportunity to examine several hundred years of the development of public health in England.  From it's crowded medieval beginnings, to the disease ridden slums of the Industrial Revolution through to a brand new government initiative which will plot the future of the country's public health policy well into the 21st century. As always, this is our suggested program, but we will custom every aspect to suit the needs of any class and faculty requirement.



This is a sample program and designed for illustrative purposes only.  We custom design every study tour to your specifications.



Overnight flight from US to London.



Morning arrival at Heathrow. Meet your Select Travel Service tour manager. Departing the airport we make the journey to the town of Windsor, best known for its royal castle. The castle has a colored history since its founding in the 11th century. King John rested here before signing the Magna Carta. Charles I was imprisoned here before losing his head, Queen Victoria mourned her Albert and the Royal Family used it as a refuge in World War II and then tragically partially destroyed by fire in 1992. With in excess of 1,000 rooms we will see the just a few including the Royal State Apartments. There will be time to see the town itself before continuing into central London by mid afternoon for check in and unpacking. Gather together again for an early dinner before retiring for the night.



A 2003 poll of British doctors voted 19th century Dr. John Snow the greatest doctor of all time. It was his pioneering techniques of mapping the spread of disease which led to among other things, the discovery that cholera is spread via contaminated water and food. His medical mapping techniques are the foundation of today's understanding of the spread of diseases such as AIDS. We take a 3 hour walking tour following in the steps of Dr. Snow as he tracked the 1849 cholera outbreak along the River Thames and identified the offending water pump located on Broadwick Street.  Your guide will also detail Dr. Snow's other work on calculating the correct dosage of ether and chloroform to be successfully used in surgery. This afternoon we take relaxed look at St. Paul's Cathedral, the second largest in the world (St. Peters is first) and location for the funeral of Florence Nightingale. The cathedral has recently completed a multi million pound restoration.



This morning we meet with faculty and students at the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the University of London. The school's mission is to further the understanding and teaching of worldwide health through a combination of research, post graduate teaching and advanced training methods. The School's research addresses a range of specific topics covering both international and UK focused areas.  The morning is dedicated to touring their facilities and discussing their work.  This afternoon we visit the Florence Nightingale Museum located in St. Thomas Hospital.  Her leadership of the nursing team caring for British soldiers during the Crimean War is credited with saving the military from a medical disaster.   But she was also a visionary health reformer and a master at public relations before the term PR even existed.  At one time her popularity in Britain was second only to Queen Victoria.



A seat of academic learning since the 13th century, historically the population of Cambridge has suffered from the city's unfortunate location in the midst of low lying waterways and marshes of the surrounding Fenlands.  Medieval Cambridge was crowded and susceptible to frequent outbreaks of the Plague, Typhoid, dysentery and other diseases borne from unsanitary conditions. Our walking tour of the city will include sites associated with the development of the city's improvement in public health such as St. John's College home to the Hospital of St. John the Evangelist which cared for the impoverished and elderly. In 1895 the city established a state of the art pumping station which was so successful, it remained in operation until 1968.  Also see Old Addenbrookes Hospital which began with a staff of just six.  Hobson's Conduit was constructed in the early 17th century and was revolutionary for its era, for the fist time bringing fresh water into the city from nearby springs. Prior to this time the only liquid refreshment thought safe to drink was beer, hence the large number of breweries which survive even today.


We visit the Public Bath house which offered personal hygiene facilities to the working classes.  Finally we visit the home of bio-chemistry Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins whose breakthrough science in essence discovered vitamins. Twenty years later a fellow colleague Dr Elsie Widdowson oversaw the first ever compulsory addition of a substance to food, calcium to bread.  She was also responsible for formulating war-time food rationing when ironically many say the British population was at its peak health living on a diet of vegetables, bread and potatoes. Late afternoon return to London.



This morning we visit Crossness Pumping Station, constructed as part of the solution to London's "Big Stink" and the integral system of sewers commissioned by Sir Joseph Bazalgette. It was a system designed to combat the problem of raw sewage dumping into the River Thames. Typical of its time, the station itself was something of an art piece with ornate iron work built around a central Octagon. This afternoon we tour the Royal College of Nursing or the Queen's Nursing Institute. The RCN represents nurses and promotes the excellence of nursing practices and helps shape modern day public health policy. The Queens Nursing Institute is a charitable organization dedicated to improving the home bases nursing care.



Morning meeting with officials from the Government Health Department to discuss future plans for the National Health Service. There is a current Parliamentary White Paper entitled "Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our strategy for public health in England". We will have the opportunity to discuss this far reaching long-term vision for the future of public health in Britain. This afternoon is available for final independent study or sightseeing. Tonight we gather for a traditional pub dinner and opportunity to discuss our thoughts on what we have seen this week.



Regrettably this morning we bid farewell to England and journey to Heathrow for our return flight home.

Included Highlights


6 Nights Hotel


Sightseeing & Seminars:

Windsor Castle, Dr. John Snow Walking Tour, St. Paul's Cathedral, School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, St. Thomas Hospital, Excursion to Cambridge, Crossness Pumping Station, Royal College of Nursing, Meeting with Government Health Officials.


Also Included:

Airport-hotel transfers, hotel and local taxes, baggage handling, touring by deluxe private motor coach, services of a professional study tour manager, local specialist guides.

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