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

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Walthamstow 1933

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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Clinic is roughly that of an Out-Patient Dept. to the Hospital and
is as follows :—
(a) Examination of all school and pre-school contacts of
notified cases of Infectious Disease and determination of date of
return to school in the former.
(b) Examination of other close contact cases.
(c) Examination of patients after discharge from the Isolation
Hospital and the reference of all doubtful heart cases to the Education
Committee's Rheumatism Clinic (see School Medical
Officer's Report).
(d) Diphtheria Immunisation.
This Clinic is taken personally by your Medical Officer of

The following table gives particulars of the work done during 1933: —

No. of sessions held52
No. of patients attended2,047
No. of attendances made3,222
Average attendance per session39.3
No. of Scarlet Fever cases discovered7
No. of Diphtheria cases discovered49
No. of virulence tests taken in Diphtheria carriers25
No. of children referred to Rheumatism Clinic32
No. of children referred to Ear Clinic12
No. of children referred to Orthopaedic Clinic3

Particular care was taken to refer all cases with any suspicion
either of rheumatism or of cardiac involvement to the next following
rheumatism clinic. The following extract from Dr. Sheldon's
report of the work of the Clinic is taken from the School Medical
Officer's report for 1933 :—
“ In my report last year I mentioned the follow-up children
who had been discharged from the Sanatorium after Scarlet Fever
or Diphtheria, and the reference to the rheumatism clinic of any
of these children who were suspected of early rheumatism or other
cardiac abnormalities. This has been continued, and I have no
hesitation in saying that by this means much early rheumatism
has been detected and offered immediate treatment—either by
being referred from the clinic to the private Practitioner or by
admission to hospital—while previously many of these cases must
almost certainly have drifted on untreated until irreparable damage
to the heart had been done. The value of such a follow-up after
these infectious fevers seems to me undoubted.