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

View report page

London County Council 1934

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

This page requires JavaScript

The medical superintendent of Grove Park hospital (Dr. Logg) has reported
as follows:—
The work in the X-ray, surgical and out-patient departments showed a material increase
during 1934, and in particular it should be noted that although comparatively the same number
of fresh patients (i.e., those who have not received in-patient treatment formerly) have attended,
the total number of out-patient attendances was 659, compared with 397 during the preceding
year. Further, despite the number of operations carried out by the resident staff, there has been
a material increase in the visits made, and operations done, by the consulting thoracic surgeon.
During 1934 there has been a materially increased pressure upon the nursing and medical
staff in view of (a) the higher percentage of more seriously ill patients requiring attention, (6)
the increased number of patients requiring orthopaedic appliances and more detailed nursing
in the non-pulmonary unit, (c) the number of minor thoracic operations in addition to routine
artificial pneumothorax work (approximately one patient in six has been having pneumothorax
or other special surgical treatment), and (d) the material increase in the number of out-patient
attendances and the necessity for fitting in these attendances to suit the convenience of patients
who are now following remunerative occupations.
The medical superintendent of St. Luke's hospital, Lowestoft (Dr. Colvin), has
reported as follows :—
Treatment for the patients has been carried out in accordance with the accepted principles,
my only matter for comment in this respect being the increased use of gold salts in certain
types of non-pulmonary tuberculosis. The amount of work carried out here in non-pulmonary
tuberculosis has not as yet been so extensive as to allow us to form any valuable
or incontrovertible opinion regarding the value of gold salts. At the same time, the results so
far obtained in certain types of glandular tuberculosis are distinctly promising and give encouragement
to persevere more extensively with this form of treatment in the future.
The number of operations performed during 1934 was 679. There is again
a decided increase in the number of cases of spinal tuberculosis requiring aspiration
of abscesses.
During the year 186 plaster of Paris splints were applied by the medical staff,
while 388 splints or appliances were either made, altered or repaired in the splintmaker's
workshop during 1934. This figure includes the fitting and assembling
of 74 spinal frames and 20 hip abduction frames.
The number of artificial light treatments given during 1934 totalled 15,261 to
193 patients. Of these, 3,032 treatments were local applications with the Kromayer

As regards discharged patients who had received artificial hght treatment during their stay in the hospital (not necessarily in 1934), the following table indicates the results obtained in 173 cases of tuberculosis :—

Type of case.Numbers treated.Treatments.Percentages.
Local.General.Quiescent.Improved.Not improved.
Other joints254392,31068284
Skin (lupus)4561512575

The medical superintendent of the Northern hospital (Dr. Borthwick) has
reported that the treatment of cases of pulmonary tuberculosis at that hospital by
courses of gold salts has been continued, over 100 cases having been thus treated
during the year, and the dosage and results correlated, particularly with regard to
the amount of sputum, presence and absence of tubercle bacilli and X-ray changes.
Reference was made in the last annual report to the fact that the future of
Princess Mary's hospital for children, Margate, which was established for the treatment
of surgical tuberculosis, was then under consideration. During recent years
the demands for admission to this hospital have been diminishing and, in the
summer of 1933, part of the accommodation was used for school journey parties,
and subsequently a portion of the hospital was in occupation by convalescent children
until August, 1934, when they were replaced by adult convalescent women who