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

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Ilford 1961

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Ilford]

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Work has prodeeded along the usual lines, though
there has been some slowing-up, partly due to the
back-log of cases originally seen by Dr. Shackleton.
The waiting list is therefore a little longer than usual
at the present time. While it is hoped to bring this
back to the former level it has become clear that in
order to reduce it substantially we shall require
additional psychiatric sessions and application has
been made for these. We have been helped by the
addition of a third full-time Psychiatric Social Worker,
Miss Boyd, who has come to us from the St.
Alban's Clinic. She is an experienced person, and
is already doing a good deal to relieve the excessive
load of workwith parents carried hitherto by her two
colleagues. In addition she is also undertaking some
preliminary screening interviews with parents of new
referrals, to help decide upon the urgency, and to
mitigate the effect of the waiting period for diagnosis.
We have also been granted two additional sessions for
a Child Psycho-therapist, which Mrs. Handja will
be taking up in the near future. She already has
enough children on the treatment waiting list to fill
her additional time.
We have continued our policy of encouraging
visitors to the Clinic, i.e. School Teachers, Probation
Officers, Health Visitors, etc. The response has
been gratifying in terms of attendance and interest
shown. We aim in this way to help allied workers
to handle many of the simpler problems that arise
in the course of their work, and aid in the prevention
of more established disorders.
A notable event has been the extension of the
Maladjusted Day Class from Infants to Juniors, with
the provision of an additional teacher; this is working
well and the teachers attend fairly frequently for
consultations, which help them in their work with
children and parents.
We continue to see a number of children who
are unable to attend school, and there is a growing
recognition outside the Clinic that these children
are often suffering from neurotic disturbances which
require treatment, and are not just to be regarded as
anti-social delinquent characters. A problem