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

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Bermondsey 1920

Report on the sanitary condition of the Borough of Bermondsey for the year 1920

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(A.) Pulmonary cases, of which there are: —
(1). Early cases which ought to be sent away to sanatoria.
(2). Cases of established disease which would benefit
by a short stay at sanatoria and who require special
provision and treatment.
(3). Advanced cases which should, for their own good
and the benefit of others, be segregated.
(B). Non-pulmonary cases. Of these there are three classes :
Cerebral cases, glandular cases, and bone and joint cases.
(C). Finally, we have Suspected cases, who have some of the
signs and symptoms of Tuberculosis, but in whom the diagnosis
is doubtful, and " Contacts," who, though apparently healthy,
are living with tuberculosis patients, and require to be kept more
or less under observation.
At the present day, no scheme for the control of Tuberculosis
is complete without a Tuberculosis Dispensary, and it may
be well, at this stage, to recapitulate the functions of this institution.
The original idea of the founder—Sir Robert Philip—was that
these dispensaries should form a kind of centre to co-ordinate all
the activities in connection with the prevention of Tuberculosis,
classify the patients from a clinical point of view, keep in touch
with various voluntary and other bodies who undertake the treatment
of Tuberculosis, and generally to act as a kind of clearing
house for everything connected with Tuberculosis in the district.
The officers were intended to be experts in the clinical work of
diagnosis and able to help general practitioners with advice in
doubtful cases. They were also intended to undertake the
examination of " contacts " and supervise, in conjunction with
the general practitioners, cases receiving domiciliary treatment.
They were further expected to be able to give special treatment
in certain cases, such as in those requiring tuberculin or other
specific treatment.