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

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Hammersmith 1965

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

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Medicinal Baths and Treatment Centre
Work progressed normally for all sections, and only in the Health Laundry Service was
there a noticeably increased demand. As the machines were working to capacity the only way to
cope with the extra work was by the introduction of an evening shift. This meant that the laundry
operated from 7 a.m. until 7.30 p.m. Should the demand go on increasing the only solution would
be larger premises, more machinery and more staff.
Assistance continued to neighbouring Authorities and a total of 247 treatments were
given in the Cleansing and Sterilisation Sections, the largest user being the London Borough of
Cleansing and Treatment of Persons.

Even today there is still considerable demand for this service. In all 427 individuals received 607 treatments for a variety of causes, the main four were:-

Scabies198 patients328 treatments
Head Lice85 “99 “
Body Lice74 “81 “
Pubic Lice45 “65 “
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Approximately two-thirds of the treatments for body lice were for men from a large hostel
in the Borough.
Steam Sterilisation.
189 requests involving 5220 articles were dealt with during the year. Good use is made
of this service as the table in the Appendix shows — see Table 32, P. 108.
Premises are not normally sprayed following cases of the more common infectious diseases
unless a definite request is made. During the year 24 requests for formaldehyde disinfection
were received following illness and death. In most cases the illness was not of an infectious
nature, and spraying was carried out as a palliative treatment only.
Coroner's Court and Public Mortuary.
The accommodation provided comprises court, jury room and suite of offices for the
Coroner and his officers, a modem post-mortem room with four tables, refrigerated accommodation
for eighteen bodies, and office accommodation for the Pathologist and Mortuary Superintendent. A
large waiting room confortably furnished, and a viewing room, are also available for the public.
These facilities were utilised by the neighbouring Boroughs of Fulham, Kensington and
Chelsea prior to the amalgamation. The Mortuary is now used only by the London Borough of
Hammersmith. Inquests, however, are held in the Court for Ealing, Hillingdon, and Hounslow, in
addition to Hammersmith.
The number of bodies admitted to the Mortuary during the year was 680, a decrease of
469 over 1964. There were 670 post-mortem examinations, a decrease of 464 over the previous
In all, 344 inquests were held compared with 228 in the previous year.

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