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]
Pathological laboratory services.
As stated in the annual report for 1933, the establishment of the five additional
group laboratories and the central histological laboratory, included in the scheme
for an organised laboratory service to meet the needs of the hospitals and institutions
under the control of the Hospitals and Medical Services Committee, was
completed in the early months of 1934.
The antitoxin establishment (Belmont laboratories) was originally designed (in
1907), to provide accommodation for the preparation of diphtheria antitoxin and
swabbing outfits for the hospitals under the control of the Metropolitan Asylums
Board. Since the Council assumed control, the laboratories have also undertaken
the preparation of streptococcus (scarlatina, etc.) antitoxin, prophylactics for
diphtheria and scarlet fever, toxins for determining susceptibility to diphtheria and
scarlet fever and other test solutions, to meet the requirements of the whole of the
Council's hospitals services (including the mental hospitals), and of the residential
schools and children's homes under the control of the Education Committee. The
work now carried out has outgrown the very limited accommodation at these
laboratories, and the difficulty has only been partially overcome by the completion
(in July) of the extension, of temporary construction, referred to in last year's
The Council has authorised the preparation of a scheme for building new
premises designed and equipped on up-to-date fines to meet the present needs, and
to provide facilities for further extension of the work in the immediate future.
Progress has been made towards the completion of the scheme for providing
all acute general hospitals with adequate pathological laboratories. Improved
accommodation at Bethnal Green hospital and a new laboratory at St. Luke's
hospital, Chelsea, will be opened early in 1935.
Laboratories at Highgate, St. James', St. Leonards and St. Peter's hospitals
are either under construction or arrangements are in hand for the commencement
of the work. When these are completed all general hospitals for the acute sick will
have been provided with laboratories, where they did not already exist, with the
exception of St. Nicholas hospital where suitable accommodation for adaptation is
not yet available. In addition to the provision of new laboratories certain of the
laboratories taken over from the late boards of guardians have been replaced by
more suitable quarters and furnished with modern equipment. One or two of the
older laboratories still remain to be dealt with, and will be brought up to a more
modern standard, when the more ursrent works have been completed.
The following is a summary of the number 01 examinations carried out during recent years in the hospital, group and central histological laboratories. Detailed statistics will be found in the tables on pages 162 to 174.
|Year.||Hospital laboratories.||Group laboratories.||Central histological laboratory (including post-mortem examinations).||External laboratories.||Total.|
|General hospitals.||Special hospitals.||Five group laboratories (General hospitals) (including post-mortem examinations).||Two group laboratories (Special hospitals) (including post-mortem examinations).|
out in the
* Three group laboratories and the central histological laboratory were opened on 1st October, 1931.
†Two additional group laboratories were opened in 1933—on 4th September and 2nd October,