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

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St Pancras 1930

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

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so many of the children. In 33 children who made 10 or more attendances, there was an
increase of weight in 30, varying from ½ lb. to 2¼ lbs. The greatest increase was recorded in
the case of two children (brothers), who made the highest number of attendances, namely 29,
and whose weight increased 2 lbs. 2 ozs. and 2 lbs. 4 ozs. respectively, a rate of increase much
in excess of the average normal rate. In a few cases, children of a nervous, excitable type, who
usually slept badly, were stated to be less restless and to be sleeping better. Some improvement
in appetite was also recorded.
The general conclusion drawn from the experience gained is that it would be difficult and
expensive to maintain a Centre exclusively for sun bathing. During bad weather, although the
staff would be in attendance, the number of children would be small or even nil. I am of the
opinion that it would be more satisfactory to combine a sun bathing centre with a day nursery
or nursery school. In these cases the building would be adequate to accommodate the children
at all times, and provision could be made for sun bathing whenever the weather was suitable.
It should be recorded that great interest was taken in the Regent's Park Sun Bathing Centre.
Many persons visited it and a number of kind donors sent toys for the use of the children.
I am, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your obedient Servant,
G. Sowden,
Medical Officer of Health.
Clinic for Ailing Mothers, and Children under School Age.
A weekly clinic is held by Dr. F. L. Provis at the St. Pancras Dispensary, 39, Oakley
Square. To this, patients are referred from the Town Hall, from the Welfare Centres, by the
Health Visitors, etc.
During 1930, new cases under five years of age numbered 54, ailing mothers 19, and
expectant mothers (new cases) 89. The total attendances at this clinic were :—134 of children
under five, 47 of ailing mothers, and 158 of expectant mothers. The corresponding figures for
the Dispensary as a whole (including Dr. Provis' clinic, but not the tuberculosis department)
were :—children under five : new cases, 432 ; attendances, 1,059 ; ailing mothers and expectant
mothers: new cases, 108; attendances, 205.
The Medical Officer of this Special Clinic is paid by the Borough Council. He is
assisted by a Nurse (part-time), the cost of whose services is defrayed as to one-half by the
Committee of the St. Pancras Dispensary and the other half by the Committee of the
Mayoress' Home. During the year the Nurse made 914 visits to the homes of children
under five.
The Dispensary Resident Medical Officer also made home visits to sick children under
five years of age.
The cost of the other work of the Dispensary amongst women and children is defrayed
out of funds from voluntary sources, and is also subsidised by the Ministry of Health.
Convalescent Home Treatment.
(a) The Mayoress of St. Pancras Home for Sick Poor Children.—This is situated
at " Avalon," 1, St. Alban's Road, and accommodates 18 children and the necessary staff.
The age limit for admission is from 18 months to 5 years.
The children are either convalescent after illness, or are weak, badly nourished, etc.,
and require good food, fresh air, and special care.
A large garden is attached to the home and an outdoor playroom has been provided
by the St. Pancras Branch of the Dickens Fellowship.