London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Kensington 1906

Annual report of the Medical Officer of Health 1906

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With reference to (b), the Committee said that—
"The Instruction No. 26 of the Police Orders, dated 12th June, 1906, was not issued with
their approval or authority; but it appears to be founded upon information which was supplied
[by them] to the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis,"—in circumstances fully set out in
the report—information which may be shortly summarised as being a statement of the steps the
Managers had taken to obtain power for the removal of non-infectious patients, and of the
practice which had gradually grown up of their doing work of this sort. The Committee added
that—"A copy of the Board's regulations for the removal of infectious cases was enclosed [to
the Commissioner], and other information as to the ambulance service was given; and it was
suggested thp,t in the event of the police requiring the services of a horsed ambulance, they
should apply for one in the same way as they would if one were required for an infectious case."
The Commissioner, on the 80th May—
"Forwarded a copy of the draft Order which was intended to give effect to the arrangement
above suggested, and asked for any observations which the Board might have to make in
reference thereto."
The Commissioner was informed (let June, 1906) that the Chairman of the Ambulance
Committee "had no observations to make on the copy draft Order," which is appended to the
Committee's report. It reads as follows:—
Police Orders. Tuesday, 12th June, 1906.
Accidents, Ambulances, etc. (G.O., Sec. XXVII.) Revised pars. 26 to 30.
Horse Ambulances for the Conveyance of Persons suffering from Severe Injury or Illness.
26. The ambulance service of the Metropolitan Asylums Board is available within the
County of London for the general convenience of the public requiring urgent treatment at
hospitals and other places, in cases of serious injury or illness, other than an infectious disease
for which tho Board have provided other ambulances.
27. Responsible persons making applications to police are to be informed that the Board's
charge is 7s. 6d. for each single journey, which includes the services of a male attendant (to
assist in carrying the patient) as well as the driver, where the patient is over 12 years of age.
One person may accompany the patient to the hospital or other destination, and such person
may be conveyed back to the patient's residence without further charge.
28. Every facility is to be afforded by police to cause an ambulance to be sent with the
least possible delay to any place where its services may be required, and this may be most
expeditiously accomplished by making application"— [as in the case of an application under
the Board's regulations for the removal of an infectious case; the addresses of the several
ambulance stations, the telephone numbers, &c., being given.]
29. Unless the ambulance is used for police purposes, expenses are not to be incurred,
except in necessitous cases of urgent need, nor is it to be accompanied by police.
30. Particulars of any application are to be entered in the Occurrence Book.
The above report of the Ambulance Committee, submitted by order of the Board, was
"received," but no action was taken upon it. The Police Order has, I understand, not been
rescinded, nor modified in any way, nor was it objected to by the Managers, who are continuing
their beneficent work of removing urgent non-infectious cases.
The action of the Corporation with respect to the provision of an ambulance service for
street accidents in the City, was referred to in more than one of my monthly reports, and it is only
necessary now to state that motor vehicles are to be employed, and one has been provided. It was
expected that the service would have come into operation in the month of February, 1907. It will
not be much further delayed.
It may be mentioned that the Asylums Board are giving experimental trial to motor traction
for ambulance purposes, and it is stated that a motor ambulance worked satisfactorily throughout
the past year, having effected a large number of removals of patients with safety, comfort, and
expedition. Should the mechanical service be ultimately adopted in its entirety, instead of 120
horsed ambulances, probably half that number of motor vehicles would suffice for all purposes,
including a street accident service, should the Asylums Board be constituted the ambulance
authority for the Metropolis.
The Council may be reminded that the Conference of representatives of the Sanitary
Authorities, on the Public Health (London) Act, 1891, convened by the County Council, and held
at the County Hall, in July, 1904, unanimously adopted the following resolutions with regard to
"Metropolitan Ambulance Service":—

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