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

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West Ham 1948

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

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It is, of course, necessary for many of the patients to attend on more than one occasion, and some indication of the volume of work carried out at these clinics will be obtained from the following table:-

ClinicNumber of Attendances
Stratford11,414
Balaam Street15,080
Rosetta Road9,671
Total36,165
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The trial arrangement whereby one of the school nurses attended the Silvertown
Maternity and Child Welfare Clinic for an hour on two mornings per week to treat minor
ailments was discontinued in May, since numbers treated were insufficient to Justify it.
These averaged 0.36 per session.
REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE OPHTHALMIC CLINIC
by Dr.A.A.S.RUSBELL, M.B., Ch.B., D.P.H., D.O.M.S.
During the year work was continued in the Eye Clinic the same as the previous year
except that the commencement of the National Health Service caused alteration In regulations
regarding prescriptions for glasses. The parents now had a free choice of optician and
could take the prescriptions anywhere they wished to have the glasses made up® Glasses could
then also be repaired free, but special forms were necessary and completing these increased
the number of attendances at the Clinic.
The number of prescriptions given during the year was 1,198, but the number of
attendances at the Clinic was very much greater as many of the children made more than one
attendance for the examination,. Also some were re-inspected with their new glasses in the
Eye Clinic, and in the second half of the year others attended regarding repair of broken
glasses®
Treatment of cases of strabismus forms quite a large and important section of the
Ophthalmic Clinic work. Among the children refracted during the year 438 had squints, but
in addition 476 school children with this condition were re-inspected and made 1,387 attendances
for observation and advice. Treatments by exercises were carried out by the Orthoptist
but all her cases had to be re-inspected by me periodically.
The Orthoptic Clinic was unfortunately subject to several changes as Miss Goodland
resigned from her full-time post early in the year, but continued on a part-time basis for
a few months. She was followed by Miss Lewis, whose stay was of short duration, then Miss
Martin who commenced part-time duty in July, 1948 and full time at the beginning of October.
In spite of these changes 2,792 attendances were made in the Orthoptic Clinic during the
year.
Operations for strabismus were carried out at Whipps Cross Hospital. Sixty-seven
children were operated on for this condition, but as a few children either had the operation
done in two stages, or had such a large angle of squint to begin with that two operations
were necessary, 77 operations were performed. This figure included 2 children and 3
operations on children from the Maternity and Child Welfare Department®
In addition to squint operations one child was admitted to Whipps Cross Hospital
for a discission operation for a congenital cataract.
49


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