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

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Greenwich 1971

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Greenwich Borough]

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showed an increase of 19.3% over those for the previous year,
there were marginally fewer instances of syphilis and gonorrhoea,
the increase being confined to other conditions.
At the Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital Centre, although the
total new cases treated increased by 16.3% to 1,635, those concerning syphilis fell by 15% to 40. However, instances of gonorrhoea rose by 7.3% to 250 but, again, the main advance was
found to be in other conditions which increased by almost 20%.
I am indebted to Drs. A. Grimble and D. Erskine, Physicians
i/c at the Miller and Dreadnought (Seamen's Hospital) Treatment Centres respectively for the following statistics for 1971.

New Cases Treated at Centres Within the Borough

Treatment CentreSyphilisGonorrhoeaOther ConditionsTOTALS
Greenwich District Hospital Miller Wing:166174106564350754462
Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital:402501,3451,635

Contrary to the national trend, cases of syphilis in Greenwich
residents coming to the notice of the department during the year
showed an increase of 2 to a total of 14. Although numbers are
relatively small, this advance is of the order of 16.6% and the
position needs to be kept under review. Again, countrywide, cases
of gonorrhoea rose by 4.4% but the Borough figure, at 148,
remained static. It is in the category of other conditions where
we find the greatest increase and, here, the figure for residents
rose by 53.6% to a total of 1,069.
For the first time, separate figures are given this year in
respect of other sexually transmitted diseases. Of these, the socalled non-specific genital infections continue to form the major
group and if, as is generally believed, these infections are sexually
transmitted, then it would indicate that there are many undiagnosed symptomless females in the community.
Borough rates per 1,000 population for new cases of syphilis,
gonorrhoea and other conditions were 0.06, 0.68 and 4.92 respectively. As a whole the venereal disease group returned a rate
of 5.67 compared with 3.79 for 1970.