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

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Walthamstow 1904

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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With a very little experience of the present buildings, it was apparent
that a great deal more might be done in the interests of those who were
removed from their homes for the benefit of the public. Unlike general
hospitals, the primary object of isolation hospitals is to protect the
healthy members of the community; but while doing so, your Authority
has recognised that a further duty is also imposed—to protect the sick
from each other and prevent risk of further infection. The segregation
of large numbers of Scarlet Fever and Diphtheria patients is in no
proper sense isolation, and in spite of the best nursing, air space and
ventilation, I felt the results were not as anticipated.
The extensions designed by Mr. Holmes are on an entirely new plan,
and in conformity with the most up-to-date knowledge of infectious
diseases and their sequelae. In consequence of this departure, and
owing partly to the Local Government Board and to the need for
economy in local administration, much delay has ensued. It is now
proposed that in the acute stages of the illness each patient will have
a separate room. This may necessitate a little extra expense in nursing,
but will result in more economical general administration, as I anticipate
that each patient in future will have a shorter stay in hospital than at
present, and thus each bed will serve a greater number.
That the public need have no alarm that this seemingly extravagant
provision is going to entail a very large expenditure may be seen when
I mention that the proposed additional 36 beds and administrative block
extension will not exceed £10,000, as compared with £33,400 for an
already existing 46 bed accommodation.
I have received the following from Dr. Hall, the Resident Medical


Scarlet Fever.Diphtheria.Total.
Remaining on December 31st, 190333235
Admitted during 1904216120336
Remaining on December 31st, 190435540
match: ALTO ComposedBlock
..\13 May 2013\Batch-8\b19971035\Tables\b19971035_0047_045_025.xml

Of the cases admitted 8 were from Woodford ; 5 from West Ham;
1 was from Chingford.

Diagnostics: Check ALTO | Check in player