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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County Borough of East Ham Education Committee
To the Chairman and Members of the Education Committee.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I beg to present my annual report on the School Health
Service. In view of the increasing number of scholars on the
registered rolls of the schools and the avowed difficulty experienced
by general practitioners in giving adequate attention to children
on their lists, the integrity and continuity of this service at a high
level of efficiency remains a paramount necessity to the community.
The policy of medical inspection and follow-up treatment
established since the Education Act, 1944, has been steadily pursued
and in order to give the family doctor every opportunity of taking
the initiative in referring children to hospitals, close contact has
been established to ensure that general practitioners are made
aware of the need for investigation or treatment of school children
on their lists.
The medical staffs of the specialist clinics now come under the
aegis of the Regional Hospital Boards in respect of remuneration
and terms of service.
For the time being these clinics will continue to function as
heretofore in premises provided by the Local Education Authorities
and it is hoped that the wisdom of this practice will prove so
abundantly manifest that no attempt will be made to split off these
specialist clinics from the School Health Service. The saving in
"schooling time" to the scholars and "working time" to their
attendant parents alone would be the strongest possible argument
in favour of the retention of this system, whilst the integration of
these clinics with the school medical work as a whole has proved
of the greatest value to the children concerned. Dichotomy in
this direction must be avoided, and our whole effort concentrated
on maintaining the service as a unified whole under the School
Medical Officer.