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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psychiatric patients on occasion. Membership of the Club has fluctuated
during the year, some members having dropped out as they
have regained enough confidence to seek wider and more individual
interests. This no doubt is to be welcomed as a sign of return to
independence. The average attendance is now 20. Age-range is
between 18 and 50. Membership consists of 12 male and 11
female ex-hospital patients, 2 female Clinic patients, 2 wives
and 3 friends. The Members' Committee has met once a month
to arrange programmes consisting of whist drives, beetle drives,
quizzes, darts, table-tennis, informal games, dancing, first-aid
instruction and discussion. This is a happy, stable group, in which
a sympathetic appreciation of each other's difficulties has, to some
extent, taken the place of too much concern about their own
personal troubles. Friendships have been formed and many
little kindnesses performed, leading to mutual satisfaction.
For example, a lonely woman is arranging to act as sitter-in
for a young married couple, who have never been able to get
out together in the evening. Appreciation of the service is
frequently expressed, and members sometimes remark that the
Club seems to keep them going. On 23rd December a very
successful Christmas Party was held, arranged entirely by the
members. In the New Year it is hoped that this venture, which
has been largely experimental in this first year, will be reviewed,
with the idea of consolidating the work already done and of
widening the scope still further. It is to be regretted that there
are so few adult social clubs in West Ham to which members
could proceed as they become less dependent upon the special
provisions made for them here.
Contacts with other agencies have been maintained and
mutual help appreciated. The weekly conferences with the
medical staff have helped to maintain the continuity of treatment
which is so important to the patients' successful rehabilitation.
Far from the patient objecting to having his personal affairs
discussed, usually he seems to feel more secure in the knowledge
that there is someone outside who understands his problems
and with whom he can discuss them if he feels the need
to do so.

The following are the total figures for the year:—

Home Visits—
Social Histories144
For Patients in Hospital50
On Trial28
Other Agencies21
Clinic Cases138
Whipps Cross Cases17
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