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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Of the '248 cases of old age as shewn in the preceding table,
this figure includes chronic sick (e.g., aged, suffering from arthritis,
rheumatism, cardiac, diabetes, etc.) and the aged and blind—very
few of these old people are serviced on grounds of senility only.
Of the 575 applicants, with the prior approval of the Chairman
and subsequent confirmation by the Health Committee, in 269
cases home helps were provided free of cost.
Mr. R. A. Baskett, B.E.M., M.S.I.A., has compiled this section
of the report relating to sanitary circumstances, housing and the
statistics in regard to food inspection.
During the past year, except for the retirement of one District
Inspector—Mr. W. Thurston, and the Shops Act Inspector—
Mr. C. Pursall, the Department has been particularly fortunate in
maintaining its full complement of inspectorate. It has in
consequence been possible to continue and follow up the improvement
effected last year in environmental hygiene and to devote
more detailed attention to the hygiene of food premises.
The work of genera l sanitary administrat ion however, cont inues
to be hampered by two main factors (a) Protracted negotiations by
owners with the War Damage Commission, and (b) The reluctance
of owners, in receipt of controlled rents, to carry out repairs at
present costs. These matters necessitated vigilant attention to the
work of re-inspection, and a more frequent resort to statutory
action and legal proceedings. In order to expedite statutory
action under the Public Health Act, 1936, the Council has delegated
its powers with regard to the abatement of nuisances to the Health
The number of inspections carried out during the year totalled
35,106 including 8,700 under the Public Health Act, 17,277
re-inspections and 2,255 inspections under the Housing Act as
compared with last year's figures of 33,201—8,034—17,518—1,808
respectively. The number of sanitary notices complied was 3,591.
Close co-operation with the Council's Housing Department was
maintained during the year, particularly in regard to housing
investigations and the issue of building licences for the compliance
of sanitary notices.