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

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London County Council 1934

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

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More detailed information as to the conditions dealt with is given in the following table :—

Classification according to diseases in six selected districts.

Disease.Cases.Visits.Average no. of visits.
Circulatory and lymphatic system972,74628
Respiratory system872,83333
Digestive, abdomen, etc.951,81219
Pelvic organs441,11425
Nervous system432,43957
Skin and underlying tissues1516,43043
Bones and joints613,26853
Nose, ear and throat4789819
Senility and debility411,75843
Infectious diseases2026613

The average number of visits paid to diabetic patients was no less than 262.
Out of a total of 53,413 visits, more than half (28,807) were paid to diabetics. Of
the 110 diabetics, 71 were "new" cases commencing during 1934, while 39, more
than one-third, were " old " cases where treatment was continued from 1933. The
proportion of " old " cases among the non-diabetics was less than one-seventh. It
would seem that the diabetics are accumulating, and that next year a further increase
in the amount of work in the treatment of this condition may be anticipated.
A large proportion of the cases classified under "nervous system" are cases of
paralysis which accounts for the high average of visits. Included under " bones
and joints " are chronic cases of rheumatoid arthritis which raise the average considerably.
Also under " skin and underlying tissues " are included cases of bed
sores requiring dressing, which, except for this condition, would have been shown
under " senility and debility."
The following table shows the sources of reference of cases to district nursing
associations :—

Source of reference to district nursing association in six selected districts.

District Nursing Association.Medical supt. of L.C.C. hospital or district medical officer.Persons in receipt of relief.Total.
Voluntary hospital.Private or panel doctor.Other sources.
East London15722161
Metropolitan (St. Pancras)32153353
Metropolitan (Bedford-place)4521455116
North London9122232138
South London15022227201
Woolwich and Plumstead13315162166

Many of the 111 patients under private or panel doctors were short cases. It
appears probable that these are patients on relief only for a short time, probably
owing to illness, their private doctors continuing to treat them without fee. The
remainder are persons in receipt of relief but still receiving treatment from a
National Health Insurance doctor.
The 21 cases shown under "other sources" include patients under the care of
voluntary dispensaries, infant welfare centres, etc.