Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for East Ham]
SCHOOL MEDICAL INSPECTIONS.
The reader is referred back to this section of the report in
previous years and to contemplate the question raised in certain
quarters that school medical inspections are both unnecessary and
a waste of time.
My own experience after many long years of this work lead me
strongly to repudiate and refute this imputation and to state
categorically that these inspections have a great value to the school,
the parent and the family, and have contributed not a little to the
better physique and increase in height and weight, in comparable
age groups of children of pre-war years. I am sure the imputation
is based largely on the knowledge that the work in some areas is
indifferently accomplished by inferior personnel. In no branch of
medical survey is the personal factor of the examiner more
important and obviously the more highly trained he is, the keener
his clinical acumen and the better the standard demanded of him
by the School Health Officer, the greater will be the value of his
findings and the educative effect of his contact with the parent
The presence of parents at these inspections is cordially
welcomed and it is satisfactory to report that despite the large
number who are in employment, 73.5 per cent, of parents attended
in all age groups and 90.9 per cent, in the first group. These
figures compare with 71.6 per cent, and 93.5 per cent, for 1948.
In addition, special surveys have been carried out to demonstrate
speech defects, the remedying of which must play an
enormous part in the personal, psychological and social development
of affected scholars.
A highly technical group audiometric survey is being
conducted t hroughout the schools to discover hearing defects which
likewise would have a profound retarding effect on individual
education should they remain untreated and uncorrected by