This edited volume originates in the 2011 conference of the International Network for the History of Hospitals, held in Lisbon and Évora, Portugal. It focuses on how institutions for the care and cure of the sick have organised their activities at every level, from the delegation of medical treatments between groups of practitioners, to the provision of food and supplies and the impact of convalescence on lengths of hospital stays. It draws on new European and North American research which highlights an area of medical history that has not yet had adequate, sustained attention, discussing the tensions between theory and practice and between patients and practitioners. Through detailed case studies and comparative analyses it explores the changing and evolving understanding of the function of hospitals, and their wider relationships with their communities.
Laurinda Abreu is Professor of History at Évora University, Portugal. She was the coordinator (2001-2009) of the ERASMUS Thematic Network PHOENIX TN – European Thematic Network on Health and Social Welfare Policy. Her recent publications include L. Abreu and P. Bourdelais (eds), The Price of Life: Welfare Systems, Social Nets and Economic Growth (2007) and L. Abreu, Pina Manique. Um reformador no Portugal das Luzes (2013).
Sally Sheard is Senior Lecturer in the History of Medicine at the University of Liverpool, and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics. Her research interests focus on the interface between experts and policymakers, and the political economy of health and social welfare. Her recent publications include S. Sheard and L. Donaldson, The Nation’s Doctor: the role of the Chief Medical Officer, 1855-1998 (2005); M. Gorsky and S. Sheard (eds) Financing Medicine: the British experience since 1750 (2006); and S. Sheard, The Passionate Economist. How Brian Abel-Smith shaped global health and social welfare (2013).