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

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London County Council 1912

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]

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Annual Report of the London County Council, 1912.
An idea of the difficulty of keeping in touch with some patients on account of their migratory
habits is given in some cases. Thus in Finsbury the length of time certain patients had resided at one
address after being notified is given as follows:-
Period. No. of cases.
0—1 week 3
1 week-1 month 30
1-3 months 24
3—6 ,, 38
6-12 ,, 53
1-5 years 155
Over 5 years 89
Many data of social and economic interest are accumulating and will be available when
uniform systems of keeping records are in use. From data from Wandsworth and Marylebone the
amount paid in rent by the families of patients is shown:—
Weekly rent. No. of cases. Percentage.
Under 5/- 188 14.3
5/ to 10/- 688 52.4
10/- to 15/- 283 21.6
15/-and over 153 11.6

Information as to the size of the dwelling shows that the greatest number of phthisical cases is to be found in two-roomed tenements thus:

No. of rooms in tenement.Metropolitan borough.
5 and over26627

Dr. Thomas of Finsbury shows the number of persons to each bedroom and bed to instance the degree of overcrowding:—

No. of persons in room.No. of instances where the room contained—
One bed.•Two beds,Three beds.Four beds.

In Holborn 30 per cent. of the deaths from phthisis'during the last ten years were those of patients
removed from common lodging houses,the death rate being 20 per 1,000 occupied beds. In 1912, of
95 deaths, 23 or 25 per cent. were removed to the infirmary from common lodging houses in the borough.

Some information as to the working capacity of patients and the percentage of insured persons is given by Dr. A. E. Thomas, the medical officer of health of Finsbury:—

Working capacity during 52 weeks preceding notification.Insurance.
32 per cent. not out of work at all44 per cent. insured at onset of illness
25 per cent. out of work a few days6 per cent. insurance had lapsed
16 per cent. out of work 1—3 months9 per cent. belong to Friendly Societies
9 per cent. out of work 3—6 months8 per cent. belonged to " Share out" Societies
18 per cent. out of work over 6 months7 per cent. belonged to Trades Unions
1 per cent. belonged to Trades Unions (formerly)
25 per cent. definitely uninsured