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

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West Ham 1953

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

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PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED CHILDREN. During the year 25 children were admitted to the
Elizabeth Pry Special School on account of a physical handicap, including 1 extra-district
child; 16 West Ham and 1 extra-district children left the school.
The West Ham leavers were disposed of as follows:-
Returned to ordinary school 5
Left school at 16 years - no action 1
Left school at 16 years and reported to the
Youth Employment Officer as Disabled Juveniles J
Left district 3
Died 2

An analysis of the causation of defect in 87 West Ham cases and 10 extra-district cases which were In the Elizabeth Pry Special School during the year 1953 is set out below:-

DefectWest HamExtra-District
Heart conditions112
Quiescent T.B. bone and Joint defects121
Spastic conditions62
Amput at ions3-
Muscular Dystrophy5-
Miscellaneous conditions3

The miscellaneous conditions include such cases as myositis ossificans, severe congenital
dorsal scoliosis, Hand-Schuller-Christian Disease, achondroplasia, Post vaccinal encephalitis,
ectopia vesicae, arthrogryposis, fragilitas ossium, cerebellar tumours, congenital absence of
limbs and other defects.
The Incidence of physically handicapped pupils for the day special school remains
fairly constant in the region of 2 per 1,000 registered pupils.
This Hostel, which is situated adjacent to the Gurney Special School, for educationally
sub-normal pupils, had accommodation for 18 educationally sub-normal boys with various behaviour
problems or special home conditions rendering it advisable for them to leave their homes. The
Hostel was kept fully occupied: in addition there was a small waiting list.
Eleven visits were made during the year by the Chief Assistant School Medical Officer
who reported favourably on the condition of the premises and on the boys' progress. The
visits were made at times which were convenient for consultations with the superintendent
and the head teacher of Gurney School which most of the children attend. Most of the
children attended the Elizabeth Fry Special School and consultations also took place between
the medical officer and the head teacher of this school. The number of children attending
the annual summer camp at Stock was 13, this being somewhat smaller than in previous years
on account of so many juniors being in the Hostel. The camp was in charge of the superintendent
and matron and their deputies and thanks are due to their efforts, the event fully repeating