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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number whose condition is attributable to simple lack (or
unsuitability) of food is fewer still.
During the year, 22,369 inspections were made at nutritional
surveys and 44 children referred to the school doctors for
investigation. Certain of these children were sent to the Fyfield
Open-Air School and to convalescent homes.
At these surveys, 103 children were also found to be
suffering from other unrelated conditions, and were referred
to the doctors for treatment.

The following table shows the conditions found:—

Defective Vision2
Skin Diseases32
Ear Defects6
Nose and Throat Defects1
Other Defects and Diseases51
match: ALTO ComposedBlock
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A note on the changes in the Ministry's nutritional classification
is included in the paragraph dealing with medical inspection.
UNCLEANLINESS. Parallel with the nutritional surveys,
and usually conducted at the same time, are surveys for cleanliness.
The numbers found to be infested at these surveys are
augmented by others found at periodic or special medical
While the onus of cleansing is upon the parents—and
children found to be infested are followed up until the school
nurse is satisfied that they are clean—a certain number are
treated at school clinics with a preparation containing D.D.T.
During the year, 32,728 inspections were made at these
surveys, and 2,150 instances of infestation found, a percentage
of 6.57. Many of these instances are recurrent infestations
in the same children, and these persistent offenders provide the
School Health Service with one of its most difficult problems.
FOLLOWING-UP. This is a very important branch of
the work of the school nurses, without which a good deal of
the value of inspection and treatment would be lost. The
homes of all children who fail to keep appointments for treatment,
or who lapse before treatment is completed, are visited
to find the reason, and if possible to secure that the necessary
treatment is obtained. In other cases a child is followed up
after treatment to ensure that progress is maintained. In all,
the school nurses paid 6,936 home visits for this purpose during
the year.
MEDICAL INSPECTION. At the beginning of the year
the Ministry of Education introduced a new form of record for
school medical inspections. This combines detailed findings of
the inspection with full notes on medical history, social and

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