Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Finsbury Borough]
In addition to the above, the following leaflets are distributed
by the District Health Visitors to expectant mothers :—
Information as to the Municipal Midwifery Service.
Special Clinics for Finsbury expectant mothers at
St. Bartholomew's Hospital.
Provision of Home Helps for nursing and expectant
Advice to expectant mothers.
A supply of these latter leaflets is also maintained at the
Voluntary Centres, and at the hospitals included in the Council's
Midwifery Scheme, for distribution to women attending those
As far back as 1909 the Borough Council appointed two
women to act as Lady Health Visitors for the Borough in conjunction
with the Lady Sanitary Inspector.
Their work included :—
(a) The systematic visitation of infant births in the poorer
parts, and the instruction of mothers in the care and
upbringing of the children.
(b) The supervision of the children's health and progress.
(c) The improvement of home conditions, and especially
of those which might react adversely on children or
parents, whether these were due to faults of environment,
to social conditions, or to dire poverty.
Since that date great strides have been made in the Service
and at the present time there are seven Health Visitors, two of whom
act as Superintendents of the Pine Street and Leage Street
Municipal Centres respectively. The remaining five visitors each
have a district allotted to them, and are engaged mainly in the
home visitation of babies, children under 5 years, and expectant
Last year 708 visits were paid to expectant mothers.
They also deal with the recommendations, in the first instance,
of mothers and children for grants, and act as Child Protection
Visitors under the Public Health (London) Act, 1936.
Students of the Battersea Polytechnic, with the approval of
the Council, worked in the Maternity and Child Welfare and
Tuberculosis Departments last year for short periods to gain
a knowledge of the work for examination purposes.