During this walking tour, we passed Foundling museum, which used to be a hospital where sick children that had survived past birth and infancy would go and enter a lottery to receive treatment. This was considered a generous charity since Great Britain did not possess the NHS or any kind of free healthcare service in the 17th and 18th century. But the crazy part is that this type of care- one that was based on a lottery- was the best treatment that poorer children could receive.
I am very interested in studying infant and maternal health, as well as serving on medical brigades addressing areas where this aspect of health is poor. So I greatly appreciated hearing in lecture that infant mortality rates are one of the main determining factors of a country's health. If the mortality rate is low, then the country's health and health care is poor. The U.K. was not an exception during the Victorian era. But this tour made me interested in what changed the social paradigm where children were expected to die before the age of seven, and where a lottery was the best they could hope for, because many communities- including some in America- are still faced with this challenge today.
Although this is not the complete answer, I believe that the creation of the National Health Service replaced the Foundling Hospital on a much larger scale and provided for the needs of the country to improve their infant and maternal care. In effect, a social paradigm was beginning to change and children's health was expected to be better and their lives, expected to be longer because the treatment was better and no longer based on a crude system such as a lottery.
I also think that the Foundling Museum today has much to teach about healthcare and art. The museum was home to Britain's first public art gallery, and when the museum was a hospital, Thomas Coram also helped the children develop their skills and tend to their mental or emotional health to prepare for the real world. Although this connection is sort of abstract, I see a collision of medical care and art on many levels at this one site, and I think that is what makes it so unique and effective out of the many hospitals established during its time.
Image Credits: Top left: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/themes/nhsengland/static/img/apple-touch-icon-180x180.png Top right: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Foundling_Museum_-Brunswick_Square_-London_-15July2009.jpg/1200px-Foundling_Museum_-Brunswick_Square_-London_-15July2009.jpg