LHB16 Public Health Department of the City of Edinburgh

Collection Summary

Reference Code: GB239 LHB16
Title:Public Health Department of the City of Edinburgh
Dates of Creation of Material: 1865-1997
Level of Description: Fonds
Extent and Medium of the Unit of Description: 10 shelf metres: bound volumes, papers


Name of creator(s):Public Health Department of the City of Edinburgh
Administrative History: Edinburgh was the first Scottish local authority to appoint a Medical Officer of Health: Henry Duncan Littlejohn was appointed in 1862. Public health matters originally came under the Lord Provost's Committee of the Town Council. Following the Public Health (Scotland) Act of 1867, a Public Health Committee was set up by the Town Council in 1872. The Public Health Committee was responsible for sanitary matters and the control of infectious diseases. Its remit was gradually extended to cover in addition: the administration of municipal hospitals; maternity and child welfare; the control of venereal diseases; veterinary matters; food hygiene; environmental health; mental health services; health visiting and home nursing services. In 1948 the municipal hospitals became part of the National Health Service. Several more functions of the Health Department were transferred to the Lothian Health Board in 1974, and the Community Services and Communicable Diseases Division was formed to administer child health services, community health and nursing services, epidemiological and preventative services.
Archival History: Records held within the National Health Service and Edinburgh City Council prior to transfer
Immediate Source of Acquisition or Transfer: Community Medicine Specialists Office, Western General Hospital, May 1983, and Community Services and Communicable Diseases, Johnstone Terrace, October 1983


Scope and Content: Management and administration 1865-1982; patients (bound and unbound records) 1908-1997
Accruals: No further accessions are expected
System of Arrangement: Chronological within record class


Conditions Governing Access: Access is subject to the terms of the NHS Records Management Code of Practice 2010, the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
Conditions Governing Reproduction: Reproduction is subject to closure periods and physical condition
Language/Scripts of Material: English

Related Units of Description:
Lothian Health Board (LHB37)
Primary Care Division, Lothian Health Board (LHB24)
Scottish Medical Officer of Health, NHS Executive Council and Director of Public Health reports 1920-2002, in LHSA reference collection
Henry D. Littlejohn M.D., Report on the Sanitary Condition of the City of Edinburgh (Edinburgh 1866), in LHSA reference collection
Publication Note:
Tait, H. P. A doctor and two policemen: the history of Edinburgh Health Department, 1862-1974 Edinburgh: Mackenzie and Storrie: Public Health Department, 1974


Archivists' Notes: Compiled by Mike Barfoot and Jenny McDermott using existing handlists
Rules or Conventions: Description based on ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description International Council on Archives (2nd edition), 2000
Date(s) of Description: May 2000; last updated August 2009.