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

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East Ham 1949

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for East Ham]

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Clothing, diet, welfare and well-being of our charges have all
received the maximum of attention from the Children Committee
and their officers and the tendency has been towards the solution
of individual problems, by special case study, placement in foster
homes, nurseries and special schools.
The nursery still remains a model of its kind and stress is laid
on individual nursing care wherever possible with the young babies,
and on more freedom, play and nursery school type education with
' toddlers ' to develop their inborn potential.
Let the baby know someone he can feel wants and loves him
and let the toddler explore the possibilities of physical ' skills ' and
social values.
Home Office inspectors have proffered advice and guidance
and the officers have received continuous support and encouragement
from the visits and deliberations of the committee.
Greater stress is now laid on the individual happiness of the
children, rather than on physical well-being or mass discipline, and
when one considers that many of these boys and girls come under
our care only for a relatively short span in their lives, this is probably
the best method of approach to a perennially difficult problem.
One of the objects of recent legislation was undoubtedly to
detach the 'Care of Children' from the stigma of the old
'Institutional Poor Law regime' and to replace this as far as
possible by 'home life.' How far we have proceeded along this
road and the benefits which have accrued on this enlightened
journey we are not yet able fairly to assess, but this much can be
said, it is improbable that we will ever fully retrace our steps.

Scabies and Treatment Centre.

The following statistics are appended for the year under review:—