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

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City of London 1852

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London, City of ]

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The general plan, on which I would propose that
this force should be disposed, is the following:—
first, as heretofore, the weekly list would contain
all places needing investigation on the ground of
such deaths and illness as are usually associated
with preventable causes, in order that any sanitary
defects may at once be remedied in them; secondly,
in each week there would fall due a certain number
of sanitary works (relating to house-drainage, watersupply
and the like) for which you would have
previously issued orders requiring them to be
completed within a stated time, and on the satisfactory
execution of these it will be the Inspector's
duty to examine and certify; thirdly, in each
district I would have a certain rota of visitation,
according to the badness of the spot and its known
liability to fall into filthy and unwholesome condition,
requiring one set of houses to be seen weekly,
another set fortnightly, another monthly, another
quarterly, and so on—a rota, varying from time to
time with the changing circumstances of each
locality; and, out of this rota, each week would
supply a stated number of cases for inquiry, to
which I should occasionally add certain of those
establishments in which offensive occupations are
pursued. Thus, in the large number of weekly
visits which I suppose the Inspector to make, there
would be a certain proportion of that more elaborate
kind which involves an examination of the entire
house; another proportion, made for the sole