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

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East Ham 1913

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

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On the removal or death of a patient from Tuberculosis the
premises and bedding are disinfected, and the landlord advised to
re-decorate the rooms.
Pocket spittoons are supplied to those patients who are unable
to purchase them.
Free examination of sputum is undertaken at the Borough
Bacteriological Laboratory.
The County Council are at present responsible for carrying out
the sanatorium provisions of the National Insurance Act.
A Tuberculosis Dispensary has been established in the
Borough, and the Assistant Tuberculosis Officer attends on three
half days per week, but it is found that the work is growing so
much that sufficient could be found for an officer to devote the
whole of his time to cases of Tuberculosis in the Borough.
24 beds at the Isolation Hospital have been in use during the
year for treatment of Pulmonary Tuberculosis. These beds were
allotted to the County Council for treatment of cases recommended
by the Insurance Committee.
In my opinion this is not a satisfactory arrangement, as an
Isolation Hospital should be used for the isolation of advanced
If it is the duty of a Sanitary Authority to provide beds for
the isolation of acute infectious diseases, such as Scarlet Fever,
Diphtheria, etc., it is quite as important from a Public Health
point of view to provide beds for advanced cases of Tuberculosis,
as the patient removed to such an Institution diminishes the great
risk of infecting other members of the family.
Beds used as such do not materially increase the cost of
During the latter months of the year, being pressed for room
for Infectious Diseases, we had to curtail the number of cases of
Pulmonary Tuberculosis admitted, but plans have been prepared
for the erection of a Tuberculosis pavilion.
Under the present arrangement, both early and late cases have
been treated together, which is most unsatisfactory, as it is most
distressing for early cases to see patients who are in the later
stage of the disease. The movement for eradication is now