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UK Branches and Regions

Part of
Society of Medical Officers of Health
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


In 1888 the Metropolitan Association of Medical Officers of Health was reconstituted, 'amalgamating' with three provincial associations, the North-Western, Yorkshire and Birmingham and Midland, which became the first Branches of the Society. Further Branches formed from 1891 onwards and by 1948 the Society was represented in all parts of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

In 1974, following re-organisation of the Society, the Branches were dissolved and replaced by 17 new Regions. Although the boundaries changed, most were preceded by a particular Branch. Those in England were co-terminous with the NHS Regions. By 1977 it was generally acknowledged that the regional system had not succeeded. This was exemplified by the re-formation of the London and Home Counties Branch in that year. The new regions were far less active than the former Branches, although some regions were more active than others. However, regular meetings had petered out by 1978 and by 1980 the regional structure had collapsed. The last to continue with meetings was the South Western Region, which continued to meet until Apr 1983 when it decided to disband.

Records exist for all UK Branches, although the quantity varies greatly. Records of the regions, however, are particularly incomplete and there are no records at all for the East Anglian, Mersey, Northern and Scottish regions. Many of the regional records which have survived were those kept by the Society Secretary. Because they are sparse and in many cases no systematic records or accounts were kept, some routine material has been retained (though weeded) to show the level of organisation and activity. 'Reports from the Regions' can be found in the minutes of the Society's Council. Note that Regions were often referred to as 'Regional Branches'.

(See also M.8&.9 for lists of Branch Secretaries and on deposit of Branch records)

The Mersey Regions: this was a new Region and did not succeed any particular Branch. It appears, from a letter in N.7/3, that it ceased to exist by 1980. It included some of the former North Western Branch area. There are no records of the Region in this deposit.

For Midland Branch - See Birmingham and Midland Association.



Physical description

23 boxes

Finding aids

Online Archives and Manuscripts catalogue. Hard copy catalogue available in the Wellcome Library.


  • English

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