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

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Barking 1937

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Barking]

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It is too early yet for results of the "Better Health Campaign" to show
themselves in the statistics of clinic attendances, though possibly a slight proportion
of the increase may have resulted from leaflets and posters displayed in the last two
months of the year.
Overcrowding at the Woodward Clinic was mentioned in last year's Report,
and it has become progressively severe with the increase in numbers attending
there for the minor ailments and infant welfare sessions.
It is expected that something favourable may be said about this question of
overcrowding at the Woodward Clinic in my next Report. Since the end of last
year a minor ailments clinic has been opened at the Porters Avenue Centre.
Although it is too early to state precisely, it would appear that the numbers attending
the Porters Avenue Centre will not mean a commensurate falling off in the number
attending the Woodward Clinic. It would seem that the Porters Avenue Clinic is
only in part relieving the Woodward Clinic, and is in part meeting a new demand
of its own.
The room at Faircross School in which orthopaedic treatment, massage, ultraviolet
light, postural exercises, splinting are carried out is too small for the work
which has to be done in it and for the numbers attending. Arrangements for
increasing this accommodation have become urgent, and you are at the present time
considering this question.
Although it does not strictly come within the purview of this Annual Report,
you, together with the Education Committee, have taken steps, temporarily, to
deal with the situation, by opening up a similar centre at the Manor School.
This lack of accommodation has meant that the numbers of children referred
for ultra-violet light treatment have had to be limited to a certain extent, and as we
had been getting very good results with artificial sunlight therapy this is to be
It is still my submission that the solution of your various difficulties in
overcrowding can best be met, when you receive the necessary sanctions, by the
building of your proposed clinic in Porters Avenue and the Central Out-Patients'
Department in Upney Lane.
The centralisation of your special departments under one roof would do much
to achieve co-ordination, and would enable fuller co-operation to exist between your
specialist medical officers,