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

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West Ham 1946

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

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GENERAL HEALTH. There were 12 deaths amongst the
patients during the year. Causes of death are set out below: —
Secondary Pneumonia following Influenza 4
Status Epilepticus 6
Broncho-Pneumonia following Post-Encephalitic Syndrome 1
Bronch-Pneumonia following Chronic Fibrosis of the Lungs 1
Of the 12 deceased patients, five were classified as idiots
and five as imbeciles, and these 10 comprised all the patients
dying as a sequel to Influenza or to Status Epilepticus.
Apart from the fairly severe Influenza epidemic, the general
health remained satisfactory over the year.
CONDUCT AND BEHAVIOUR. This has again been
satisfactory. Considering the ease with which patients can
gain access to the main thoroughfare, and the lessened supervision
due to staff shortage, the number of escapes has not been
large. Over the year, 10 patients have absconded, of whom 7
have been returned.
I am pleased to report that it has been possible this year
to revive our Scout Troop. The Scoutmaster is Mr. Cater, one
of our Student Nurses, who has shewn great keenness and
aptitude for this type of activity, and he has been ably assisted
by Mr. Maddix (Nursing Assistant). It was possible to arrange
a short period of camping in the grounds of a farm in the
vicinity of South Ockendon, by the kind permission of Mr. Cudby
(Baldwin's Farm, South Ockendon).
LICENCE. Twenty patients (14 men and 6 women) were
granted licence during the year, of whom 7 (5 men and 2 girls)
were returned. There were also 1 man and 5 women previously
granted licence wfro returned during the year. These patients
were returned for the following reasons: —
Unsatisfactory behaviour 8
Charged with criminal offence 2
Absconded on licence 1
Became pregnant 1
Insufficient supervision 1
EMPLOYMENT. Patients are employed in and around the
Colonv in the workshops, on the farm, as villa workers, as
workers in the laundry and sewing rooms, as, workers attached
to Colony staff, e.g., gardeners, boiler-house men, porters,

assistants to carpenters, painter, etc. 1 he following list shows the average number so employed at each occupation:—

MaleFemale
Farm workers21Attending school18
Laundry4Laundry workers16
Kitchen1Kitchen workers11
Shoemakers8Sewing room47
Carpenters7Handicrafts78
Mat and rug-making4Wardwork36
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