The Knowledge Quarter is delighted to invite staff and friends from Knowledge Quarter organisations to the next in our series of private views. London Metropolitan Archives is pleased to present an exclusive curator tour of their new exhibition Child Health in London.
Paediatrics, the specialist branch of medicine dealing with children and their diseases, was a relatively late development in Britain. It was not until the end of the Nineteenth Century, after significant breakthroughs in medical science had provided the stimulus to tackle disproportionately high child mortality rates, that a more coordinated approach to child healthcare provision, culminating in the foundation of the National Health Service in 1948.
Child Health in London explores some of these developments through a variety of themes, concentrating on institutions, services, practitioners and patients. It looks at the dangers to the health of London’s children and the pioneering ways in which they were tackled. Themes include child mortality, the establishment of specialist children’s hospitals, developments in treatment, school health services, child psychiatry and child guidance, and the arrival of the NHS; as well as preventative public health measures focusing on non-medical factors such as diet, housing conditions, hygiene, lifestyle and education.
Case studies of patients and practitioners explore the varying ways in which society viewed children, child patients and the various medical conditions they suffered; and how contemporary attitudes affected the way patients were classified, diagnosed and treated.