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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Section 29—Home Help Service.
An effort has been made during the year to effect economies
in this rather costly service. By careful scrutiny and revision of
the case histories, the hours of service rendered to individuals
and families have been reduced without causing hardship.
The establishment has not been exceeded and it has been found
advisable to employ casual helps rather than to appoint women in
a full-time permanent capacity as vacancies occur. By this
means the danger of employing staff who are not continuously
engaged for the hours for which payment has to be made is obviated.
A home helps social club (run privately) has been formed
with the object of bringing the personnel closer together and
increasing the spirit of camaraderie within the service.
As I stated in my report for 1948, the demand for services of
home helps continued to grow rapidly and during the period (1949),
which this report reviews, there was no falling off of applications.
It was anticipated at the beginning of the year that applications
would materially decrease in the summer months—this,
however, did not eventuate and the demand continued throughout
the year.
From the " appointed day " (4/7/48) to 31/12/48, the number
of cases dealt with was 37 maternity and 66 sickness patients,
a total of 103, whereas for the year 1949, 575 families received
such help.
On 31 /12/49, the establishment of home helps approved by the
Ministry of Health, was 60 full-time or their equivalent in parttime
service and on the same date the number employed was :—
10 permanent (7 whole-time and 3 part-time) and 79 casual.

Table 43.


Tabulation of Cases, 1949.

Illness or other cause for which help providedPeriod of service providedTotal
Under 1 week1—2 weeks2—3 weeks3—4 weeks1—3 months3—6 months6—9 months9—12 months
Old age95141259684437248
Other sickness124251256382215184