Dr Tudor Hart studied medicine at St George’s and Queen’s College after national service. Whilst working as a GP in Wales he established an unparalleled database. The 2,000 patients who took part in this database were from a close-knit and stable community, allowing Hart to collect long-term medical data. This was key to his epidemiological research. Utilising this data, Dr Hart championed the regular monitoring of blood pressure. The database proved essential for discovering the effects of salt in diet and the benefits of warfarin as a preventive medication.
As a socialist, Dr Hart was a passionate supporter of the NHS, with some of his most prominent papers being directed towards correcting social inequalities. His paper “The inverse care law” (1971) displayed how the populations that required the most care often received the least support. These revelations led doctors and researchers to consider social gradients, measuring care delivery to reduce inequalities. The second paper, “The rule of halves” (1992), evidenced how only half the population with a specific condition were diagnosed and, of those, only half would be treated to target.