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

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Barking 1953

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Barking]

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School Medical Inspections
Ministry Regulations lay down that three routine medical inspections
shall be carried out during a child's school life, but in common
with many other progressive authorities it has been your custom to
provide more frequent examinations. At present Medical Officers
go into each school once in every eighteen months to two years. I
have the feeling, however, that the number of children they examine
each session in order to fulfill this programme is on the high side and
I hope to make some adjustments during 1954. The examination
should be the occasion for a conference between child, parent, doctor,
health visitor and teacher, and the opportunity taken of imparting
Health Education.

PERIODIC MEDICAL INSPECTIONS Number of Inspections in the prescribed Groups —

Entrants1,059
Second Age Group1,189
Third Age Group1,453
Total3,701
Number of other Periodic Inspections3,376
Total7,077
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Cleaminess Inspections
The small number of children found to be harbouring nits or
lice at cleanliness inspections raises the question as to whether these are
a waste of a trained health visitor's time, and indeed whether there is a
continuing need to carry out these inspections at all. On the other hand
it can be argued that a trained health visitor may well observe some
other defect which would not have been noted by an assistant, and that
the inspections still serve a useful purpose since parents are more
careful in the care of their children's hair when they know regular
examinations take place.
(i) Total number of examinations in the schools 20,559
(ii) Number of pupils found to be infested 136
Page 82


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