The NHS was enormously popular, bringing about a more egalitarian distribution of medical services. The civil servant, Sir William Beveridge (1879-1963) who had written the blueprint for reform, estimated that the annual cost of the NHS would be £170 million. By 1951, it was £400 million, and by 1960 it had almost doubled to £726 million. By that year, too, there were over 283,000 registered nurses in Britain whereas in 1939 there had been a mere 60,000. Pencil and watercolour drawing by Virginia Powell, London.