British hospitals and their administration have changed dramatically since the nineteenth century, when the provision of medical care depended very heavily upon philanthropic bodies. The King's Fund was the leading charitable institution for the defence and development of London's voluntaryhospitals before the creation of the National Health Service. Since 1948, it has worked alongside the NHS and has sought to promote good practice and innovation in health care through grants, training, and a range of other services. Dr Prochaska's readable and scholarly study places the King's Fund in the wider context of the history of philanthropy and social provision. It provides an illuminating analysis of the evolution of the relationship between the voluntary and public sectors in the twentieth century and points to thecontinuing importance of voluntary organizations to the nation's health and welfare.