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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): MCC/HS/PH
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1940-1962
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.16 linear metres
Name of creator(s): MCC | Middlesex County Council x Middlesex County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Housing and Town Planning Act 1909 provided that every County Council should establish a Public Health and Housing Committee and appoint a Medical Officer of Health. the MCC Public Health and Housing Committee first met in February 1910. Health services organised by the Committee included:
a) treatment and care of persons with tuberculosis, including the management of two sanatoria
b) maternity and child welfare services
c) ante-natal clinics
d) birth control clinics
e) day nurseries
f) school medical services
g) general hospital service (particularly post 1930 when Poor Law institutions were transferred to the management of the Council)
h) inspection of nursing homes
i) medical care of the sick poor
j) testing of milk
k) oversight of refuse collection.

After the introduction of the National Health Service in 1946 the Middlesex County Council hospital service was transferred to the control of the Minister of Health. However, the MCC was still a Local Health Authority and as such was given the task of organising a whole range of services, many of which it had also administered before 1946. Under the terms of the National Health Service Act and various other Acts the Council was responsible for the provision of the following services:
a) health centres
b) care of mothers and young children
c) midwifery
d) health visiting
e) home nursing
f) vaccination and immunisation
g) ambulance services
h) prevention of illness, care and after-care
i) domestic help
j) mental health services
k) the School Health Service
l) registration of nursing homes
m) registration of nurseries and childminders
n) supervision of midwives
o) health control services at Heathrow Airport.

The Health Committee retained central control of services but divided the County into ten districts, each with a Local Area Committee to oversee administration of the service in their district. The County Health Department had both central offices and offices in each health area and had a large staff of doctors, dentists, nurses and technical staff, under the supervision of the County Medical Officer of Health.

Care of mothers and young children: maternity and child health clinics were set up in convenient places throughout the County. As well as receiving expert advice on caring for their babies, mothers also received milk foods and vitamins. Ante and post natal clinics provided for the supervision and care of expectant and nursing mothers and the Council employed a staff of midwives to attend maternity cases where the babies were born at home.

Day nurseries: these were provided to meet the needs of children for whom it was considered that nursery provision was required on health grounds, such as the children of unmarried mothers or widows who were obliged to work to support their family.

Care of unsupported mothers: four residential homes for mothers and babies were provided and maintained by the MCC. Three almoners gave social help to such mothers and a grant was paid to the London Diocesan Council for Moral Welfare who also engaged in this work.

Home nursing: male and female nurses were employed to visit the homes of patients and provide nursing care, under the instruction of the general practitioner responsible for the patient.

Vaccination and immunisation: the MCC provided vaccination or immunisation against smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and polio.

Ambulance service: until 1952 the Fire Service was responsible for the Ambulance Service on behalf of the Health Committee. The MCC maintained a large fleet of ambulances for the removal of accident cases to hospital and for the routine transport of sick persons to appointments.

Care and after-care, prevention of illness: care and after-care of patients with tuberculosis was undertaken at chest clinics and at the patients' homes. The MCC also maintained colonies for rehabilitation and had its own rehabilitation workshop. Care for the mentally ill was proved by mental welfare officers who arranged for hospital admission if necessary. The Council also ran five adult training centres and eight junior training centres. Other care services included chiropody provided at the MCC clinic in Edmonton; sending convalescent patients on recuperative holidays or stays in rest homes; and providing certain items of nursing equipment on loan to patients being nursed at home. To prevent illness schemes of health education were organised for adults and school children. A full time health education officer was employed to organise and co-ordinate health education.

Domestic help in the home: the MCC provided home helps to assist with the normal duties of running the household when this was required because of the presence in the home of one who was ill, an expectant mother, mentally defective, disabled or elderly. A charge was made but this was adjusted according to income.

Heathrow Airport: the main object of the health control service was to prevent the entry of infectious diseases into Britain. The airport medical staff also carried out medical examinations for aircrew and provided a medical service for employees at the airport.


Scope and content/abstract:

Photographs from the Middlesex County Council Health Department, 1940-1962, showing an ante-natal clinic; Ashford Health Centre; Bedford Clinic; Cecil Park Clinic; Central Clinic, Edmonton; a chiropody clinic; dental clinics in Hounslow and Southall; Ealing Foot Clinic; Minet Clinic, Hayes; a mobile clinic; North Road Clinic, Southall; Northolt Grange Clinic; Shepperton Clinic; Stonebridge Park Clinic, Willesden; Ambulance Service headquarters, Kenton; a day nursery, Feltham; a District Nurses home, Harrow; the Health Control Unit at Heathrow; health education photographs; infant welfare centres; children being vaccinated; a Tuberculosis service occupational therapy class and men disabled by tuberculosis attending a rehabilitation workshop in Tottenham.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

This material is arranged in one series: MCC/HS/PH: Photographs.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of its parent authority, the Middlesex County Council, and with successor authorities.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the Middlesex County Council please see Middlesex by Sir Clifford Radcliffe (2 editions, 1939 and 1953), LMA Library reference 97.09 MID; and The County Council of the Administrative County of Middlesex: 76 years of local government, 1 April 1889 to 31 March 1965, by Middlesex County Council (1965), LMA library reference S97.09 MID.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009

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