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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The Institute
of Medical
Although the Institute of Medical Psychology (Tavistock clinic) has been
dealing with maladjusted children for some considerable time, it was not until
1934 that the clinic sought and obtained recognition by the Board of Education,
under section 80 of the Education Act, 1921, in order that the attendances of
children might be regarded as equivalent to attendances at school. The clinic
authorities pointed out that their work previously had been hampered by the lack
of co-operation with the school organisation. This has now been adjusted and
head teachers and care committee workers from the schools are giving ready assistance
by attendance at clinic conferences, consultations with clinic workers, and
co-operation in carrying out recommendations as to treatment, as well as supplying
information in the initial stages. The number of school children dealt with at the
elinir. rlnrimr 1934. was 82. of which number 47 were bovs and 35 cirls.

The age distribution was: from 4 to 7 years, 19; 7 to 10 years, 26; 10 to 14 years, 32; and over 14 years, 5.

Source of reference.Reasons for reference.
Care committees16Neurosis28
Head teachers14Behaviour difficulties ...14
Parents and friends12Enuresis12
Medical practitioners7Speech difficulties5
Religious institutions6Educational4
Medical officer of health5Backwardness4
Children's special worker3Sex difficulties3
Infant welfare centres2Total82
Probation officers2
Education authorities1
Other clinics1

Results obtained,.

Partially adjusted9
Unsuitable or unco-operative parents11
Transferred to hospital4
Still under treatment33
Advice only6

West End
Hospital for
The authorities of the West End Hospital for Nervous Diseases in 1932 organised
a child guidance unit at the hospital, and the object of the unit was stated to be the
diagnosis and treatment of emotional and behaviour disorders of children and
young adolescents, cases of " nervous " children, the mentally retarded, the juvenile
delinquent and the sufferer from the sequelae of encephalitis lethargica, referred
by practitioners, school authorities, magistrates, etc.
The children are first examined in the ordinary out-patient department of the
hospital before being transferred to the guidance unit. The work is under the
direction of Dr. Emanuel Miller, and the methods adopted conform very closely
to those used at the Canonbury and East London child guidance clinics. Close
co-operation has been established with care committees and head teachers in the
district, and contact has been both effective and cordial. During 1934, with the
consent of the Board of Education, the unit was recognised under section 80 of the
Education Act, 1921, in order that the attendances made by children at the clinic
might be recognised for school records. The work has continued during the year
and a special organised play-room has been established in connection with the
unit for the observation of children under treatment. A psychologist is also engaged
to deal with special cases of backwardness in reading and arithmetic.