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

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London County Council 1930

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

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4. Boy admitted September, 1929, with old tuberculous glands of the neck and
enlarged glands, poor general condition. Discharged September, 1930. Gained
5 kgs. Perfectly fit with no obvious glands remaining.
Brent Knoll
Dr. E. J.
Brent Knoll open-air school is very much what a model open-air school should be
and this is clearly reflected in the progress in health and happiness of the children.
One certainly gets the impression when a poor school is visited subsequent to a visit
to Brent Knoll that the children should be exchanged, but this impression is only
a compliment to the efficiency of the open-air school.
All the reports are enthusiastic as regards the benefits derived from open-air
education by the debilitated children who are chosen to attend them. In one or two
instances the questions of protection from driving wind and the supply of artificial
warmth in the winter are raised, but it cannot be said that any sort of case has been
made out for the latter. The experience of those longest versed in the administration
of the schools is that provided adequate means of drying clothes and changing boots
are present, the supply of general artificial heating is not necessary and if adopted
would at once alter the character of the schools and detract from their value for the
purpose for which thev exist.
schools for
In addition to the provision of treatment for tuberculous children in residential
institutions the Council continued the use of the open-air schools, specifically for
children notified under the Tuberculosis Regulations, 1912 (now merged in the
Consolidated Tuberculosis Regulations, 1930), as suffering from tuberculosis of the
lungs or of glands with no discharging sinuses.
The six schools—Elizabethan (Fulham), Geere House (Stepney), Kensal House
(Paddington), Springwell House (Battersea), Stormont House (Hackney), and
Nightingale House (Bermondsey), have together accommodation for 565 children.
The number on the roll on the 31st December, 1930, was 566, and the average
attendance for the year ending 31st March, 1930, was 458.7.
Admission to the schools is granted on a certificate of the medical officer of the
Council, and children returning home after a period of residential treatment in
sanatoria are given preference. In the course of the year, 215 children were admitted
and 228 discharged. Of the latter, 45 were transferred as fit to attend elementary
schools, 95 were fit for work, 52 were transferred to residential institutions for
residential treatment for tuberculosis or admitted to hospitals for various reasons,
17 moved away, 10 were transferred to special schools and 9 were discharged for other
In 1925, vocational classes were started at Springwell House and Stormont
House open-air school, with the object of training children in subjects likely to be
of use to them in obtaining employment.
Two classes are held at Springwell House, one for boys and girls in commercial
training which includes shorthand, typing and general office routine, and the other
for girls in needlework. The vocational class at Stormont House is in needlework
instruction and also in gardening. Instruction in carpentry is also given at this

The following school journeys were made during the year 1930:—

School.Period.Hostel.Number of children.
Geere House23rd May6th JuneDymchurch20
Elizabethan open-air school8th July22nd JulySeasalter11
Springwell House open-air school (1)17th June1st JulyArthur Home, Bognor.20
Do. (2)8th July22nd JulySeasalter40
Stormont House (1)17th June1st JulyArthur Home, Bognor.21
Do. (2)8th July22nd JulySeasalter21