Dr Martin Gorsky BA PGCE PhD

Reader in the History of Public Health


I hold a BA in History from the University of Essex, and a PGCE (History) and PhD (Social History) from the University of Bristol. After a lectureship at Bristol I moved to a research post with the University of Portsmouth health geography group, working on the database of British Voluntary Hospitals, 1890-1948. This was followed by a lectureship in history at the University of Wolverhampton. I joined the School in September 2003, with a Wellcome Trust University Award.




My main teaching activities are as organiser of the 'History and Health' Distance Learning module (PHM215), lecturer on the 'History and Health' Term 2 Module,  lecturer on the Term 1 module Principles of Social Research, and as a tutor on MSc Public Health.


In 2003 I completed an ESRC-funded project on the history of British hospital contributory schemes (known today as health cash plans) since 1939. My subsequent Wellcome Trust research examined the coming of the British National Health Service from a regional perspective, and is entitled: 'A mass of separate expedients?' Hospitals, integration and the British health system, c.1930-c.1975. My broad interests lie in the history of health systems in the West since the late 19th century.  Among my recent projects are: an examination of morbidity trends since 1850 using sickness insurance data; studies of the pursuit of equity in policy-making in the British NHS since the 1970s; and an analysis of public health posters in Poland, 1918-90; and a study of Medical Officer of Health reports in London in the interwar period. I am currently working on my Wellcome Trust Investigator Award 'Health Systems in History' - an intellectual and policy history of the health systems concept in the 20th century.

Research areas

  • Health care financing
  • Health policy
  • Health services research
  • Health systems
  • Public health history


  • History
  • Policy analysis


  • Euro area
  • European Union
  • North America


  • United Kingdom

Other interests

  • Archives
  • English National Health Service; markets for healthcare
  • Friendly Societies
  • Global Health Governance
  • Health Cash Plans
  • Health Policy Process
  • Health Systems Planning
  • International Organisations
  • Older people's services
  • governance and institutional strengthening
  • health systems strengthening
  • history of preventive medicine
  • philanthropy
  • public health historiography
  • systems thinking
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