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

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Dagenham 1957

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Dagenham]

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During 1957 the visiting undertaken by the health visitors has been more specialised
and there has, in consequence, been some decline in routine visiting. It is, of course,
necessary to continue routine visits as in many instances defects are found and help can
be given.
Many more visits were made to the aged as the problem of their welfare is in the
forefront of preventive medicine and efforts are made to ensure that they are aware of
the facilities which are available. Valuable information regarding the aged and chronic
sick in the district is provided as a result of calls for the loan of items of sick room equipment,
and subsequent visiting enables an assessment to be made of any additional help
that may be required. Initial and follow-up visits to the 'over sixties' who attend the
Assessment Centre at Oxlow Lane clinic are also undertaken.
This year, health visitors visited mental defectives in their own homes, encouraging
the parents and helping them with their problems. A new venture, and one which has
been very much appreciated, has been the visiting of adults suffering from epilepsy.
Many of the problems with which the health visitor is faced are closely allied to
overcrowding and resultant unhappy home conditions. Whilst the power of remedy does
not He in their hands, close liaison is maintained with the officers of the borough housing
department, who are made aware of any relevant facts which may come to the notice of
the health visitor.

Work of Health Visitors

The following table shows the number of visits paid by the Health Visitors during the year:—

(a)To expectant mothersFirst visits141
Total visits417
(b)To children under 1 year of ageFirst visits1,620
Total visits7,134
(c)To children between the ages of 1 and 5 yearsTotal visits10,805
(d)Ineffective visitsTotal visits2,932
(e)Other visitsTotal visits1,321
Grand Total22,609
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