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

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Islington 1960

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

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Health and welfare services for elderly persons are conducted not only by the Borough
Council and the London County Council, who have certain statutory powers and obligations
to provide certain services, but also a considerable group of voluntary organisations which
add to the various amenities to be enjoyed by elderly persons.
The principal voluntary co-ordinating organisation within the Borough is of course, the
Islington Old People's Welfare Council, which in 1960, was assisted by a Borough Council grant
of £9,240. The W.V.S. also play an important part by the provision of a meals service as well
as conducting clubs and visiting, etc. The Public Health Department itself carries out a good
deal of liaison work linking official and unofficial organisations and persons
To be aware of elderly persons who have problems and to be able to keep in touch with
them is an important first step towards providing help The department's two health officers
for elderly persons, who are assisted if necessary by other members of the Department s visiting
staff, pay many visits to the elderly brought to their notice and requiring attention, A register
of such persons is being built up and now comprises approximately 3,300 names out of an estimated
total of 25,000 of pensionable age in the Borough.
The health officers visited 480 new cases during the year, and revisits totalled 3,645
Consequent upon this visiting, not only were the Department' s services arranged where appropriate
i. e. laundry and home bathing, but approximately 3 000 references were made outside the
These references covered such requests as the provision of the meals and home help services
welfare home and/or hospital admission grants from the National Assistance Board introduction
to clubs, Work Centre and associations dealing with blind and handicapped persons registration
with a medical practitioner and contacting relatives.
The Gas and Electricity undertakings were notified of any defective appliances and, in this
connection, in order to combat accidents in the home, thirty-six fireguards were provided by
the London County Council, on request and, from the same source, thirty one items of home
nursing equipment were supplied on recommendation
Public Health (London) Act 1936 Section 122
Cleansing and Laundry Service
The Annual Report for 1959 reported the installation of modern disinfecting and laundry
equipment for the treatment of soiled linen, and described the arrangements for dealing with
this problem so that washed and sterilised articles were returned normally within 24 hours The
service is once weekly for most cases but where specially required, may be given twice weekly
This service has continued to prove most valuable during the year and, in fact, has been extended
as noted below at the request of the Stoke Newington Borough Council. In addition to the Islington
residents who were individually assisted, the service is also used on behalf of the institutions
and authorities as set out below

Islington residents:-

No of recipients approved93
No. of washings carried out2,814
No. of articles cleansed26,315

Home for Confirmed Invalids, Highbury Terrace
This commenced on 13th July, 1959. The weight of laundry dealt with was 52 cwts
1 qtr. 3 lbs.