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

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Walthamstow 1962

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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Miss V. Jennings, Honorary Secretary of the Walthamstow and
Chingford Association of Tuberculosis Care Helpers reports as
Since the decision of the Annual Meeting of 1961 to extend the
scope of the Association's work in order to cover all patients under
the care of the Chest Physicians, the help given to non-tuberculous
patients has increased steadily.
This has been made easier by the County Council's removal of
the restrictions on the use of funds derived from their grants,. We
are now able to give assistance to patients suffering from bronchitis,
bronchiectasis, asthma and other lung diseases on lines very similar
to those long applied to the tuberculous.
It is still necessary to approach these cases with caution until
the long term financial effect of our present policy can be more
clearly assessed, but we are convinced that the action taken has
already been proved to be justified, and look forward to further
extension of these activities.
In undertaking this additional work we have not allowed the
interests of the tuberculous to be adversely affected; the fact that
the period of hospital treatment is now much reduced, and that
patients frequently return to earning capacity within a comparatively
short time after discharge from hospital, has led to the release
of some expenditure previously required for these patients. Never
theless, expenditure during the past year was the highest ever,
amounting to over £1,200.

During the year covered by the report, 125 individual cases were dealt with, and help arranged as follows:

Tuberculous PatientsNon Tuberculous Patients
Grocery Vouchers32Fuel9
Holiday expenses3Clothing & Bedding7
House repairs2Rent, debts, etc.5
Clothing & bedding29Grocery vouchers4
Pares to visit3Holiday expenses3
Rent, debts, etc.8Christmas grants30
Christmas grants88

Many other small grants and items of assistance were given from
time to time throughout the year as occasion arose, and in cases
where expenditure proved too great for us to meet alone, welcome
help was contributed from other sources such as the Glasspool Trust.
We have appreciated the co-operation given by all departments
of the local authority, and in particular the close liaison we enjoy
with the staff of the Health Department, without whose help our work
would be much more difficult.