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

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Erith 1945

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Erith]

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B(7). Midwives.
The administration of the Midwives Acts is carried out
by Kent County Council which is the Local Supervising
Authority. Under the Midwives Act the County Council
employ and supervise domiciliary midwives working in this
B (8). Dental Clinic.
The Maternity and Child Welfare Dental Clinic which is
held weekly for Dental Treatment for mother and pre-school
children, was well attended during year, attendances being 181
mothers, babies 98, total 279.
B (9). Home Help.
Following the receipt of Circular 179/41 from the Ministry
of Health it was decided to incorporate the Council's Home
Helps in the new Domestic Help Scheme which was inaugurated
in January.
The aim of this additional service is to provide whole-time
or part-time domestic help for persons who are sick or infirm
who are unable to obtain the domestic help of which under
present conditions 'they are in need. Typical examples to
whom help is given are : —
Where the housewife falls sick or must have an operation.
Where the wife is suddenly called away to see her husband
in hospital and arrangements have to be made to look
after the children ;
With elderly people who are infirm or one of whom
suddenly falls ill;
Where several members of a household are ill at the same
time, e.g. during an influenza epidemic.
Under the scheme it will be necessary to appoint and
maintain a register of domestic helpers available for work at
any time and to arrange for their payment, to determine which
are the most urgent of the applicants for help, and to assess
what part of the cost of the help provided should be recovered
from each household and to receive its payment. The expenses
incurred including the expense of additional clerical assistance
will rank for reinbursement.
As part of the need is to provide help for the sick and
i infirm who cannot afford to pay the prevailing rates for such
[help, the department is employing its own helpers and allocating
them to households where the help is most needed. The
i whole or part of the cost is recovered from the household
insofar as the resources of the household permit and this has
been done according to a scale laid down by the Council, and
recovered in advance when possible.