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

View report page

Bermondsey 1925

Report on the sanitary condition of the Borough of Bermondsey for the year 1925

This page requires JavaScript

more central for patients, and that the dental surgery could get
in closer touch with the Public Health Department. The provision
of dental treatment has been found most satisfactory, and
full details of the patients attended to will be found on the pages
of the dental treatment section of this Report.
It is difficult to convince parents of the necessity for the
dental treatment of their children, and I think that the work
carried on by the Municipal Dental Surgeon, together with the
Propaganda work carried on by Dr. connan and his staff, is beginning
to bear fruit, and is shown in a greater willingness on the
part of parents and others to avail themselves of the facilities
provided for dental treatment.
In 1919 the attention of the Council was drawn to the want
of facilities for the poorer mothers in the Borough who were about
to be confined. Many panel practitioners had given up midwifery
cases. There were only five midwives in the Borough, and
Guy's Charity only covered about a third of the Borough. It was
at this time also that the bad housing conditions became acute,
and ity was felt that something should be done to provide for
medical treatment for poorer mothers about to be confined, and
institutional treatment for those who had insufficient accommodation
in their own homes.
As this difficulty was not altogether peculiar to Bermondsey,
the American Red Cross Society came to the rescue, and decided
to provide the money for the establishment of a certain number
of hostels in London for lying-in mothers. One of the districts
chosen was Bermondsey, and a sum of £2,000 was generously
given to start an hostel. A large vacant house was found at
110, Grange Road, and this was fully-equipped and provision
made for eight beds. The staff at first consisted of a matron and
two midwives, the number of midwives being soon increased to
three. Owing to the publicity which was given to the small
numbers of doctors undertaking midwifery, and the small number
of midwives practising in the Borough, in 1923 the situation
became completely changed. The number of midwives practising