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

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West Ham 1947

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

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* The large number of "places of safety" cases is due chiefly to evacuation
from Forest Gate Hospital owing to war-time emergencies.
ASCERTAINMENT. The number of mental defectives
ascertained during the year was 30 (14 males and 16 females).
Included in this number are 14 cases (9 males and 5 females)
who were reported by the Local Education Authority. Of the
new cases, 15 were recommended for institutional care; 11 of
these (5 males and 6 females) were admitted to institutions
and 4 cases were awaiting admission at the end of the year.
The remaining 15 cases were placed under statutory supervision.
In addition to the foregoing, 12 cases were investigated, of
which 5 were not considered to be certifiable as mental
defectives, 3 were recommended for further re-examination, 3
were not dealt with under Mental Deficiency Acts, and 1 failed
to attend for examination.
INSTITUTIONAL ACCOMMODATION. The number of
West Ham mental defectives detained in institutions under
Order at the end of the year was 383 (200 males and 183
females), but of these patients, 27 (15 males and 12 females)
were absent on licence. In addition, 33 patients, a number of
whom are regarded as mental defectives, are in South Ockendon
Colony, as in a "place of safety." The majority of these
patients were evacuated from Forest Gate Hospital owing to
war-time emergencies, and it is proposed to take the necessary
action under the Mental Deficiency Acts in respect of those
found to be certifiable under the Acts as soon as circumstances
permit. During the year, 9 defectives (6 males and 3 females)
were admitted to institutions, 8 under Order and 1 transferred
from guardianship. In addition, 27 Orders were obtained in
respect of patients who were evacuees at South Ockendon
Colony and who had been considered to be in " places of
safety."
DEATHS. Ten defectives died during the year (4 males
and 6 females); 9 died in institutions and 1 case died at home.
SUPERVISION. At the end of the year there were 235
defectives (116 males and 119 females) under statutory supervision,
and 25 cases (15 male and 10 female) under friendly
supervision. In addition, there were 24 patients (15 males and
9 females) on licence from institutions who were residing in
the Borough.
All these cases are visited at varying intervals, according
to the circumstances of the individual case, by the visitor
53


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