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

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City of Westminster 1941

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Westminster, City of]

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Maternity and Child Welfare
The work of the Centres continued to expand as the demand for
this service steadily increased. Arrangements for the confinements
of expectant mothers in London and at the Maternity Hospital -it Ripls
(under the aegis of Westminster Hospital) worked regularly and
smoothly. The supplement to diet, such as cod liver oil and fruit
juices, and the issue of National Milk, have of course imposed much
additional clerical work on the Health Visitors whose time for
visiting is thus curtailed.
war Time Day Nursery
In view of the policy of the Ministers of Health and Labour
to enable mothers of young children to undertake war work, the City
Council decided to submit proposals to the Ministry of Health for
opening a war time nursery at No. 1. Bessborough Street, in the
premises formerly occupied by the City of Westminster Day Nursery
Association, a voluntary Day Nursery which had moved to the country
in September, 1939.
The war has brought far closer co-operation between the
medical practitioners of Westminster and the health department than
could ever have been achieved in peace time. Some of the doctors hav
been serving at First Aid Posts, some in shelters or other spheres
of the public service. This has engendered among them a stronger
spirit of comradeship ana mutual help which is of inestimable value
now and will prove of still greater value after the war.
The meetings of the local Medical War Committee (composed of
doctors practising or residing in Westminster and Holborn) takes place
in the office of the Medical Officer of Health and gives unique
opportunities for consultation on matters affecting the health of the
community. It may be that this most useful war time expedient might
be transformed into a permanent advisory Committee of local medical
practitioners after the war.
At the close of another year of war, I would like to express
my appreciation and gratitude to all members of my staff for their
devotion to duty and this expression extends to all Civil Defence
personnel working under the control of the Medical Officer of Health.
I have the honour to be
Your obedient Servant,
21st December, 1942.

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