London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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East Ham 1950

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for East Ham]

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We have been fortunate to maintain our clinics fully staffed
throughout the year.
The Health Visitors see every child and refer to the doctor only
those in need of detailed examination.
No opportunity is missed to inculcate lessons in health education,
and it is found that parents and pupils alike are avid recipients of
the 'new learning'.
I consider the Health Visitor's time is nor. ill spent in conducting
these clinics, for her nursing skill is a good introduction to a
refractory youngster, and her clinical knowledge can relieve much anxiety
in harassed parents.
It would be wrong to delegate this work to nurses who have not
received the wide training of the health visitor of to-day.
The following table indicates briefly the work of the School
Health Service during the year 1950, and shows the comparative statistics
for previous years.


TypeNumber of SchoolsNumber on Roll
County Primary:
Infant ..179,817
County Secondary .115,276
Voluntary (Infant and Junior)4878
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Every effort was made during the year to make these inspections
worth while.
To the doctor, negative findings enable him to give words of
praise and encouragement to the parent and spend a few minutes on 'health
Mothers often come to the examination with some anxiety and
loaded with secret feelings of guilt that they have not done this or that
for the child or have mishandled or actually ill-treated him. the School
Medical Officer can do much to resolve these anxieties and relieve the
guilt feelings by careful and pointed instruction In the basic truths of
mental health.
Similar tasks can be undertaken for scholars suffering from
nocturnal enuresis or known to masturbate.

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