Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]
South Grove institution was selected for transfer as it was a detached institution
not associated with any general hospital, and did not contain any large
mental or special unit properly belonging to the hospitals and medical service.
Moreover, the buildings would be difficult to adapt for use entirely by chronic sick
trior to 1st December, 1934, the practice in allocating cases admitted on
relieving officer's orders was, with a few exceptions, the same as existed under the
late boards of guardians, i.e., applicants were given orders for the institution which
formerly belonged to the parish or union in which they resided, without reference
to the question whether it was the appropriate institution under a scheme of classification.
This practice was discontinued when the basis of reclassification was settled
and put into operation; and, since 1st December, 1934, admissions by relieving
officers' orders of chronic sick cases have been to public health establishments and
of able-bodied, healthy and infirm cases to public assistance institutions.
The diversion of admissions.
The Council was informed that, in framing proposals for the diversion of admissions, every step would be taken to provide that inmates should be accommodated
in establishments as accessible to their homes as was practicable. The
existing arrangements for transfer from hospitals to other establishments of ablebodied,
healthy or infirm cases would be continued but chronic sick patients transferred
from a hospital would be sent to a public health institution. The operation of
this system will effect a gradual adjustment in the appropriate allocation of cases
between the institutions of the two services. As beds are freed in an institution
opportunity arises for the re-distribution of cases within that institution, so that
the buildings can be used for the class of inmate for which they are most suitable.
A further effect is to make apparent the works of adaptation which will be required
in both sets of institutions in order that necessary schemes for improvement of
accommodation can be prepared.
The advantage ot such exchanges will be that the statt concerned, together with
furniture and equipment, can also be exchanged between institutions of the two
services. Nursing staff engaged on the care of the sick in public assistance institutions
can gradually be transferred to public health establishments, and the staff
of attendants in public health establishments to public assistance institutions. The
necessity for transfers of staff depend, however, upon the incidence of admissions.
An examination of returns of admissions over a period showed that infirm, healthy
and able-bodied cases diverted from public health to public assistance institutions
numbered at least twice as many as the chronic sick cases diverted from public
assistance to public health establishments. It is impossible to forecast the net
result of the changes so far as staff are concerned, as such considerations as the
varying standards of staffing requirements for different classes of inmate have to
be taken into account. The proposals for the diversion of admissions do not, however,
involve any immediate expenditure on works of alteration or adaptation.
For full statistical information with regard to the patients in the general hospitals
and institutions, tables I to XIII on pages 45 to 72, should be consulted.
Condensed statistics of the sick patients in the general hospitals and public health and public assistance institutions since 1st January, 1931, are as follow:—
|Patients.||Year ended 31st December, 1931.||Year ended 31st December, 1932.||Year ended 31st December, 1933.||Year ended 31st December, 1934.|
|On books at commencement of period||21,712||22,229||21,736||21,630|
|Births (excluding still-births)||9,696||10,974||11,414||12,738|
|Remaining on 31st December||22,229||21,736||21,630||20,554|