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

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West Ham 1934

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

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A summary card of each child is passed over to the School
Medical Officer immediately the child attends school (including
attendance at the Council's two Nursery Schools). This card
contains brief notes regarding physical and mental development
from birth, and any illnesses from which the child may have
suffered prior to school age, and is thereafter included in the
appropriate dossier of the school child concerned.

Visits paid by all Health Visitors.

First VisitsTotal Visits
(a) To expectant mothers526119596
(b) To children under one year of age567438509
(c) To children 1-5 years of age132760452
*(d) Infant Life Protection visits34429
*(e) Special visits (Home Helps, etc.)12807
Total Visits131793

*Visits under (a), (b) and (c) include all visits to the homes
by Municipal Health Visitors and by those Nurses attached to the
Plaistow Maternity Hospital and to the various voluntary Clinics
in the Borough. Visits under (d) and (e) are made only by the
Municipal Health Visitors.
Maternity and Child Welfare Clinics.
There are twelve Maternity and Child Welfare Clinics in the
Borough, so situated that every district is within a reasonable
distance of a Clinic. Of this number five are Municipal Clinics
staffed entirely by the Council's medical and nursing staff; the
remaining seven are attached to various voluntary organisations
which are subsidised by the Council. Antenatal sessions are held
weekly at each of the Municipal Clinics, and at four of the Voluntary
Clinics; the majority of patients are referred by local midwives
for antenatal examination and supervision. In the case of
the Municipal Clinics a written report is sent by the Medical Officer
of the Clinic to the midwife after each examination of the patient,
so that there is close and satisfactory co-operation in antenatal
work. In addition, the midwife is notified immediately to visit
any patient who fails to keep her appointment for subsequent
examination. The patients are willing to attend for antenatal care;
it is becoming increasingly rare for a Midwife or Health Visitor to
encounter opposition to this supervision. There is also a better understanding
by the women themselves of the aims of frequent regular
medical examination during pregnancy, with resultant better
co-operation between patient and doctor or midwife. It may be
that recent propaganda in the popular press regarding maternal
mortality has helped to strengthen public interest, but the steady