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

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Hornchurch 1958

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hornchurch]

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44
Fifth Commonwealth Chest Conference: I was privileged to attend
the Fifth Commonwealth Chest Conference of the National Association
for the Prevention of Tuberculosis and Diseases of the Chest and Heart
which proved really instructive in providing a world instead of a parish
picture of the steps which are being taken to eliminate this disease.
Tuberculosis is not yet written off in its social importance and the
notification of new cases for the year establishes this point. Treatment
advances allied to higher housing and other standards have improved
the picture beyond all knowledge and in so doing have reduced the
degree of spread which formerly existed.

The number of cases of tuberculosis on the register at the end of the year was as follows:—

Respiratory:
Males514
Females446
Non-Respiratory:
Males48
Females30
1,038
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Romford Chest Clinic.
I am indebted to Dr. S. Thompson, the Consultant Chest Physician,
for the following notes:—
"During the year 1958 the Romford Chest Clinic has continued its
activities, serving the Borough of Romford and the Urban District of
Hornchurch. Although the incidence of new cases of tuberculosis in the
country as a whole continues to fall, the number of cases on the Romford
register continues to increase, but this is in part due to the increasing
population of the area and the influx of a certain number of tuberculous
cases amongst the new residents. For example, during 1958 there were
70 cases transferred into the area from other districts. The pattern of
the disease is changing considerably and there is an increase of the disease
in the male population over 45 years of age.
During the year it has been found that there is an increasing number
of unoccupied beds in chest hospitals and many of the smaller units have
been closed down and also Harold Court Hospital is likely to be closed
in the near future. The tuberculosis chest unit in Rush Green Hospital
has also been under discussion with a view to closure, but as it was felt
that a certain number of local beds are always desirable it is possible that
this unit may be allowed to continue to serve the needs of some of the
local population who are requiring treatment for tuberculosis.
The B.C.G. vaccination scheme is being extended and is producing
satisfactory results, so that in addition to the reduction in notified cases
of tuberculosis amongst children the more severe forms of the disease,


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