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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Convalescence for Nursing Mothers and Infants.
During 1934 it was possible to send away under this scheme
44 mothers and 47 infants (under 3 months of age). One mother
with her infant was sent each fortnight to "Child Haven," Brentwood,
the Convalescent Home of the West Ham Central Mission.
Similarly, one mother and infant was sent each fortnight to the
London Mothers' Convalescent Home, Sunningdale. The mothers
are recommended for convalescence to the Senior Assistant Medical
Officer for Maternity and Child Welfare, who examines each
patient prior to admission; recommendations come from the various
Infant Welfare' Centres in the Borough, and from the Health
Visitors. Naturally, with the increased attendances at the Clinics,
there is an increase in the numbers recommended for convalescence,
and it was found impossible to accommodate all mothers,
with resultant disappointment to many who urgently required this
holiday. In February, 1935, the Council decided to augment this
service by retaining 3 beds at "Child Haven," so that it is now
possible to send 4 mothers and babies avvav every fortnight
throughout the year.
This scheme has proved its worth repeatedly in the remarkable
benefit, both physical and mental, in those mothers who
have been fortunate enough to receive this help. For many it is
the only holiday they have had for years; for most it is the only
prospect they will have of a change of environment, and this help
comes at a time when it is most required. It is a happy scheme to
administer; the mothers return full of appreciation for all the kind
attention and help they have received from the nursing staffs at
both Homes. In addition, it is gratifying to note that the mothers
are anxious to carry on the good training in mothercraft which
they have learnt while on holiday, and which is an important feature
at both these Convalescent Homes.
Maternity and Nursing Homes in the Borough.
There are three Nursing Homes in the Borough registered
under the Nursing Homes' Registration Act, 1927, one of these
being the Plaistow Maternity Hospital. Of the two remaining,
one receives chronic medical and senile cases, the other having
accommodation for medical, surgical and maternity cases in addition
to senile patients.
There have been no orders cancelling or refusing registration,
and no applications for exemption from registration. One
of the Nursing Homes changed ownership in November, 1934, the
Medical Officer of Health being notified of the change by the incoming
Matron, whose qualifications were found to be satisfactory.
The nursing home for senile patients was removed in January,
1935, to larger and more suitable premises.
The homes are inspected by the Senior Assistant Medical
Officer for Maternity and Child Welfare.