Psychiatric Service for Children
Dr. W.R.Little, the Consultant Child Psychiatrist, has supplied the following
comments on the work of the service in 1964.
CHILD PSYCHIATRIST SERVICES IN LEYTON
The staffing of the service and the work done remains constant, but has changed
its character. The emphasis is now on the prevention of the development of intractable
difficulties within families by early detection of children at risk.
DETECTION AT AN EARLY AGE
The Borough health services refer children to the Development Clinics for toddlers,
where they can be supervised. Many more infant schools can be visited and more formal
discussions arranged between the staff, as a school, and the child psychiatric team.
DETECTION OF CRISIS WITHIN A FAMILY
The health services are encouraged to take special interest in families undergoing
a crisis (such as illness) and help to decide which families can be referred for
FOCUS ON CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Children attending special schools are helped by a close contact between the staff
of these schools and the psychiatric team.
EARLY DETECTION OF PERSONAL DIFFICULTIES IN ORDER CHILDREN
The pilot scheme of discussion between junior and senior schools staff and psychiatric
team has helped to define which individual problems need what kind of help.
WHIPPS CROSS HOSPITAL CHILDREN' S UNIT
Since June, 1964, the Children in need of active outlets of their energies in the
Paediatric Unit have been admitted to a ward converted for the purpose to accommodate
twelve children of school age, to which an additional part-time teacher has been
appointed. In the first six months, fifty-nine children had been admitted, the majority
of whom responded by improving. We were particularly pleased with the rate of return
of children who found attending school difficult; with the co-operation of local
schools, most of these children were back attending their regular day school within six
weeks of admission.
After an initial period of adjustment to the Unit Programme, most children seem to
work out how to get the best out of themselves with the help of the staff.
(i) No. of schoolchildren skin tested 344
(ii) No. found positive 51
(iii) No. found negative 293
(iv) No. vaccinated with B C.G 293