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

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London County Council 1940

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

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infection of 21 was traced and of 11 not traced; examination of the remainder was
not completed before the end of the year.
Venereal diseases
The facilities under the London and Home Counties Scheme for the free
diagnosis and treatment of venereal diseases have been continued during 1940,
except for the curtailment of certain in-patient and hostel accommodation. At the
end of the year 17 hospitals and the London County Council (Whitechapel) Clinic
were undertaking the necessary treatment and other work under the scheme. The
Children's Medical Home, Waddon, opened for a brief period, but closed before the
end of the year. The number of new patients attending the hospitals during the year
(comparative figures for 1939 are given in brackets) was 17,165 (22,756), of whom
2,202 (2,477) were suffering from syphilis, 5,910 (7,634) from gonorrhoea, and 155
(169) from soft chancre, while 8,898 (12,476) were diagnosed as not suffering from
these diseases. There were 437,068 (601,422) attendances and 21,143 (35,745)
in-patient days. In all 189,249 (263,872) pathological examinations were made, of
which 153,695 (223,696) were for the centres and 35,554 (40,176) for practitioners.
Treatment of tuberculosis
The number of patients' names on the dispensary registers fell during the year
from 21,257 to 20,254.
The dispensary service which had, immediately after the outbreak of war,
experienced a certain amount of dislocation in the majority of the metropolitan
boroughs, functioned satisfactorily, having regard to war conditions, during
practically the whole of the year, there being no complaint with regard to the
services of any dispensary. Evening sessions were recommenced either just before
or after the commencement of statutory " summer-time."
Two dispensaries were destroyed by enemy action, one being transferred to
other premises and the other to another portion of the same building. Three other
dispensaries were damaged, but it was possible for the services to be continued in
the same premises, in one case after a temporary transfer elsewhere.
clinics for
After-care clinics held at County Hall were carried on more or less normally
until September, when they had to be suspended. St. Luke's (Lowestoft) Clinic was
later resumed, and ex-patients of Heatherwood Hospital in need of urgent examination
have been invited to attend at the hospital. The after-care department at
Queen Mary's Hospital, Carshalton, functioned throughout the year. Arrangements
for repair or renewal of surgical appliances for clinic patients were not affected.
out of
The number of child contacts boarded out with foster-parents during the year
averaged 130, compared with 160 during the year prior to the war.
The effect of the war in reducing the number of recommendations for residential
treatment continued throughout the year, although, as will be seen from the
subjoined table, it gradually became less marked. The number of persons,
particularly of children, evacuated either officially or otherwise will to some extent
account for the decrease.
1st January to
31st August
1st September to
31st December
Men Women Children Total
1940 1939 1938 1940 1939 1938 1940 1939 1938 1940 1939 1938
2,823 3,267 3,104 2,024 2,238 2,252 364 659 710 5,211 6,164 6,066
1,031 941 1,237 659 635 869 115 113 286 1,805 1,689 2,392
3,854 4,208 4,341 2,683 2,873 3,121 479 772 996 7,016 7,853 8,458