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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HEART DISEASE AND RHEUMATISM. During the year 110 cases were referred for treatment
under code number 10 on Form 10M - "Heart and Circulation". Of this number only 24 were
considered as cases of organic disease of the heart. The remaining cases requiring treatment
or observation consisted chiefly of anaemia and functional conditions. In 1946 the
number of true cases of organic heart disease numbered 22? last year, no separation was
made within the Ministry's classification which grouped together all conditions of the
heart and circulation under one heading, and thus no comparable figure is available.
A number of cases, chiefly rheumatism, mostly early and slight, were sent to the
Paediatrician by the Assistant Medical Officers. The number so referred was 60 and of
these 29 were found to have a cardiac lesion - mostly very slight® These were in addition
to the 24- cases mentioned earlier® The Paediatrician also saw 13 cases at Whipps Cross
Hospital. An analysis of these cases showed that 10 had a cardiac lesion - mostly slight.
There were 23 cases of severe heart conditions in the Grange Road Special School (P.H.)
during the year.

The 110 cases were dealt with as follows:-

Recommended for admission to Heart Hospital Schools10
Recommended for admission to Day Special Schools7
Under observation at School Clinics by area doctors92
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Duping the year 1948 the number of children treated as in-patients in special
heart schools was 17.

The following figures relate to work carried out in connection with children found suitable for Residential Heart Hospital Schools:-

Number of admissions during the year6
Number of discharges during the year10
Number of cases ascertained during the year6
Highest number under treatment during any one time (December)6
Number of cases in Heart Hospital Schools at end of the year6
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PAEDIATR1C CLINIC® Towards the end pf 1947 Paediatric Clinics were established under
the charge of Dr.E.Hinden, M.D., M.R.C.P., the whole-time paediatrician at the Council's
Whipps Cross Hospital. The object of the clinics was to combine three functions, none of
which would be needed by a sufficient number of children in an area the size of West Ham to
justify separate provision. They were a rheumatism supervisory clinic9 a nutritional clinic
and a general consultative clinic. Cases under each of these heads were recorded separately®
One session weekly was held at each of the two clinics West Ham Lane and Rosetta Road, to
cover the north and the south of the Borough® Their success may be judged from Dr0Hinden«s
report which is set out below:-
"The clinics only started in November 1947 and they did not really get going till
1948. The clinics are purely consultative; that is, children are seen only when referred
by another doctor. The great majority are referred by the Assistant School Medical Officers
and by the Maternity and Child Welfare Service® Some are sent up for a medical opinion by
other specialists attached to the School Health Service - the Eye and E.N.T. departments,
and one or two by the Child Guidance Service® Occasionally a local family doctor has sent
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