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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Hospitals for Children under 5 years of age.
Children under 5 years of age requiring hospital treatment
can be admitted to St. Mary's Hospital, Plaistow, and
to the Invalid and Crippled Children's Hospital, Balaam Street,
Plaistow. The beds at St. Mary's Hospital are occupied mainly by
acute medical and surgical cases. At the Invalid and Crippled
Children's Hospital the Council retain a ward of 16 cots, to which
all cases for admission are referred through the Senior Assistant
Medical Officer for Maternitv and Child Welfare. Such cases are
usually recommended from the various Welfare Centres for
treatment for marasmus, rickets, malnutrition, and diatetic disorders
of infancy and early childhood.
In addition, at the Invalid and Crippled Children's Hospital,
four beds are reserved for young children requiring in-patient
orthopædic treatment; there are complete facilities at the hospital
for out-patient treatment of the common deformities of this age
period, e.g. bowlegs and knock-knees, slight talipes, torticollis in
infancy due to birth injury, etc. Most of these patients are referred
to the Orthopædic Surgeon from the Child Welfare Centres
in the Borough.
Arrangements are in force with the Committees of Queen
Mary's Hospital, Stratford, and St. Mary's Hospital, Plaistow,
for the treatment of ear, nose and throat defects in young children.
Number of Children admitted to Hospitals.
No. of Beds No. of cases admitted
St. Mary's Hospital, E.13 10 250
Children's Hospital, Balaam Street:
(a) Babies' Ward 16 181
(b) Orthopædic Ward 4 25
Total 456
Convalescent Homes for Children under 5 years of age.
The majority of young children referred for convalescence
are sent to Homes through the aid of the Invalid and Crippled
Children's Society, and the Invalid Children's Aid Association.
The children are all examined prior to being sent away by one of
the Council's Medical Officers.
A large number of these children are recommended from
the various Infant Welfare Centres in the Borough. Some are
debilitated as a result of recent illness, others are found to be
suffering from malnutrition and anaemia attributable in many
cases to faulty routine and wrong feeding in the homes. These
children are restored to normal health and benefit permanently by
a period of regular, healthv routine with a well balanced suitable
During 1934, 228 children were sent to Convalescent Homes
for periods varying from one to three months.