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

View report page

St Pancras 1914

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for St. Pancras, London, Borough of]

This page requires JavaScript

There is no doubt that in cases where an expectant or nursing mother is
not having the ample nourishment that her condition requires it is more
important both for herself and her infant that the necessary food should be
supplied to her than that she should be given either advice and instruction, or
medical treatment. In spite of possible economic objections that may be raised
against the giving of food, it is clearly illogical to supply at the public expense
medical advice, &c., to insufficiently fed women, while withholding the more
important nourishment. It would seem, moreover, in view of the national
importance that healthy babies should be born, and that adequate natural
feeding should be available for them after birth, that money spent on food for
needy mothers would be an advantageous and economical investment for the
Work doxe.
The work done in the Department during 1914 has consisted in the
following up of births which have been notified under the Notification of
Births Act.
A printed card of advice on the subject of infant nurture has been sent to
the mother in each case. Where the returns of registered births have shown
births which have not been notified, a warning letter has been sent to the
parent, pointing out the provisions of the Act in this respect.
Only a small proportion of mothers have received personal visits. These
have been made chiefly by Miss Smith, but in addition work of this kind was
done from 1st February to 20th June, 1914, by a qualified voluntary visitor
(Miss E. Al. Davies) working in this department.
The work done during the year is indicated by the following figures
(including the work of the voluntary visitor):—
Total births (excluding still-births) registered 4945
Births (including still-births) notified. 4674
Still-births notified 154
Advice cards sent to cases notified (on day of receipt of
notification) 4520
Advice cards sent to cases registered but not notified (on
receipt of Registrars' returns) 492
Cautionary letters sent to cases registered but not notified 492
Visits—No. of births visited 744
Additional visits 878
Total visits to mothers 1622
(Of these, number where case was not traced 19)
Extra visits (to Infant-Consultations, Hospitals, Midwives,
etc.) 442
Particulars as to the mode of feeding of the infants visited will be found on
page 44.