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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the success of previous years, A detailed and interesting report was received from the
superintendent who ended his commentary in the following words - "One of the most pleasing
memories of camp to me, personally, was the remarks made by several of the people residing
in the village; The Hostel was closed at the end of the year.
The capacity of this school, which also takes children from East Ham and contiguous
areas of Essex is 70, and the maximum number of children on the roll during the year was 74,
Including 45 extra-district cases. The accommodation will be increased under the Development
Plan. Of the 74 children in attendance during the year, 23 West Ham cases and 37 extradistrict
cases were regarded as deaf and 6 West Ham cases and 8 extra-district cases as
partially deaf and suited for instruction with hearing aids. The admissions to and discharges
from the school are set out below:-
West- Ham. Extra-District
Totally Deaf 1 5 Essex
Partially Deaf 1 1 East Ham
Totally Deaf 2 5 Essex
1 East Ham
Partially Deaf 1 1 Essex
During the year 90 West Ham boys and 51 West Ham girls were admitted, and 77 West Ham
boys and 60 West Ham girls were discharged. Of extra-district children 24- boys and 10 girls
were admitted and 21 boys and 10 girls were discharged. The West Ham children are reinspected
a few months after they leave Fyfield to ascertain if their improvement has been
maintained. Of the 132 who attended for examination, 122 showed continued improvement, but
10 children had not maintained their condition and were given the opportunity of having a
further stay at the school.
Children are admitted to the school each term and a few at mid-term. During the year
the Chief Assistant School Medical Officer made six visits to the school for the purpose of
reinspecting the children.
For some time past it has been increasingly difficult to ascertain as "delicate" a
sufficient number of children to maintain Fyfield at its full complement: this particularly
applies to girls. There are several reasons that may possibly account for this happy state
of affairs. The general condition of the children has improved. It is significant; that of
suspected cases of malnutrition referred to the paediatrician for investigation no frank
cases have been ascertained since 1949. The provision of milk and meals in schools, the
effects of rationing, a gradually improving housing position, and a rising standard of
living all conduce to improve the health of the child. With these points in mind and with
a fuller appreciation in the ordinary schools of the varying needs of individual children,
it may be that the need for open-air schools for "delicate" children will diminish with the