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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During the year under review, the Council accepted financial
responsibility for after-care treatment for ex-mental patients in
After-Care Homes, as follows:—
Six patients were admitted to homes belonging to the Mental
After-Care Association, for varying periods—3 were resident for
the whole of year, 1 for 5 months, 1 for 3½ months, and 1 for 5
weeks. The cost of this treatment to the Council was £317 13s. 7d.
Park View Therapeutic Club.
The activities of this club have continued under the auspices
of the Council and staffed by a psychiatrist and psychiatric social
worker of the Regional Hospital Board. Ex-patients from mental
hospital selected by the medical staff form the majority of the
members and regular attendance is made by our duly authorised
officers to effect the closest possible personal contact in order the
better to play their part in social rehabilitation. Discussions with
the Regional Hospital Board to widen the scope of the club have
been in progress, but so far it has been decided not to jeopardise
the good chance of progress which can be achieved by introduction
of a heterogeneous group of unselected cases, many of whom, in
the opinion of the Regional Psychiatrist, can better be rehabilitated
through the normal social channels in the community.
The line between pure therapy (the concern of the Regional
Hospital Board) and after-care (afforded by the Local Authority)
is so difficult of definition that it is better to conjoin the effort and
share the cost, in the best interests of the patients concerned.
Their journey along the road to recovery is hazardous even under
the best conditions and nothing should be done to bar their
Sections 28 and 51.
No advance in the provision of a second Occupation Centre for
mental defectives has been possible owing to the difficulties of
finding and acquiring a suitable site within the borough.
(i) Administration.
(a) A mental health sub-committee, properly constituted,
composed of all the members of the Health Committee, has functioned
throughout the year. This sub-committee meets as and
when required.