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

With regard to the new cases of venereal disease, an attempt was made to
ascertain whether the infection was recently acquired in patients attending
the clinics for the first time during the year 1934, and also as to the
number of cases of congenital syphilis. The returns received from the treatment
centres showed that, as regards syphilis, in approximately 44 per cent, of the new
patients the disease was in either a primary or secondary stage, and, in the
case of gonorrhoea, in 81 per cent., the infection had taken place within
a year. Cases of congenital syphilis not known to have received previous
treatment, numbered 279. The age and sex distribution were as follows
Under 1 year.
1 and under
5 years.
5 and under
15 years.
15 years
and over.
M. F. M. F. M. F. M. F. M. F.
23 31 8 5 35 26 48 103 114 165
Importance is attached to the necessity for securing the regular attendance of
patients at the clinics, more especially in the case of gonorrhoea, and efforts to secure
the requisite provision of facilities for intermediate treatment at times other than
during the hours when the medical officer attends are meeting with considerable
success. A number of patients still fail to complete the full course of treatment
considered necessary before final discharge, due in no small measure to the false
impression that a cure has been effected on the disappearance of outward signs of
the disease. The need for improving conditions likely to cause patients to discontinue
attendance at the clinics continues to receive careful attention. Where necessary,
patients are transferred from one clinic to another, which they can attend more
In past years the ratio of attendances has been stated as so many attendances
to each new case of Y.D. admitted to the clinics during the year. By this means
an estimate, comparable year by year, is obtained of the efficiency of the work as
measured by the continued attendance. For the year 1934 the total attendances of
Y.D. patients was 1,060,773, and the ratio of attendances of Y.D. patients to new
Y.D. cases was 66, compared with 59 in 1933.

Comparative figures for the eighteen years during which the scheme has been in force are shown in the following table:—

Year.New cases.Total attendances (venereal and non.venereal).In.patients days.

The increasing number of non.venereal patients who present themselves for
examination indicates that the general public is appreciating more and more the