Philip Prosser


Philip Prosser was born in Tredegar, South Wales, the home town of Aneurin Bevan. He was born with ‘club foot’, a condition where one or both feet point down and inwards. His father paid a weekly subscription to the Tredegar Medical Aid Society and he was able to have surgical operations to treat his feet. The Society provided medical services to its members through small weekly payments. It is said to have inspired Bevan’s vision for the NHS. By the time of the Second World War, around 95% of people in Tredegar were covered by the service.

Heritage trail plaque on building of Tredegar Medical Aid Society (credit: NHS at 70)

Image Credit: NHS at 70

Listen to Philip talk about the Tredegar Medical Aid Society.


Audio Transcript:


I was born in the Royal Oak pub in Dukestown. I was born with club feet. At the time, my father was paying into the medical aid society and so I was taken then to one of the top orthopaedic doctors in Wales, Nathan Jones…. And that was the start off my start of my treatment, for quite a few years and then after when the NHS came in, in 1948, I was sort of transferred over to the NHS. My last operation, slight operation was when I was 18 years of age, which was in the Royal Gwent hospital in Newport. And since then, I played sport and done all things, but I do get trouble now, which is natural because of what was happening at the beginning, but from then on it went okay.


Thanks for that. You mentioned about pre-NHS Medical aid. Just for people who might not understand, who might be listening to this, could you explain what this is? 


Right, well the medical aid in Tredegar at the time was, if your father, or any of the family, they were paying in to the medical aid at that time, you were entitled to all the free things that were going on; if you had to be taken to Newport or taken to Bristol they would pay for you to go. It was exactly the same as when the NHS come in in 1948. We already had it in Tredegar before that, you know, people, as long as they paid in their contributions, they were allowed to have glasses, teeth taken out, you know, this was it.




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