Health Authorities

Joint hospital boards were created under the Public Health Act 1875, which empowered local sanitary authorities to combine for the purpose of establishing and maintaining local hospitals. This power, though not extensively used, lead to the establishment of isolation hospitals, mental hospitals, sanatoriums and centres for mental defectives. Joint Hospital Boards were abolished when the National Health Service came into being.

In 1948, under the National Health Service Act 1946, regional hospital boards were established to administer hospital and specialist services in their regions. Hospital management committees were established to administer individual hospitals or groups of them, under the control of the regional hospital boards. These were all abolished by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973, with effect from April 1974.

Regional and area health authorities were created by the 1973 Act, as well as district authorities; although the districts were not to be a separate formal tier of authority. Under the Health Services Act 1980, which came into force in 1982, area health authorities were replaced by district health authorities.

Links to online catalogues of holdings:


Longtown and Border Joint Hospital Board

Ulverston Joint Hospital Board, Ulverston



Barrow and District Hospital Management Committee

Cumbria Area Health Authority (records held at Barrow Archives)

Cumbria Area Health Authority (records held at Carlisle Archives)

North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

North Cumbria Primary Care Trusts

Northern Regional Health Authority

West Cumberland Hospital Management Committee

West Cumbria Health Authority