OHE Publications

Series on Health
September 1973

Variations between people's personalities, skills and abilities are a usual and, in many respects, valuable aspect of life. But a few individuals' mental capacities in areas like simple calculation or the co-ordination of complex movements fall far short of average standards. Such people may as a result be in some ways disadvantaged as compared with their contemporaries and so considered to be mentally handicapped.

Series on Health
June 1973

The Oxford English Dictionary defìnes the skin as 'the continuous flexible integument forming the usual external covering of any animal body; also the layers of which this is composed'. It forms a barrier between the body and its environment. Its impermeable outer layer, the epidermis, keeps water and other external substances out while conversely it controls loss of water, electrolytes and other substances from within the body.

Series on Health
March 1973

During the past Century the general improvement in living standards and the development of modem medicine have eliminated infectious disease as a major cause of mortality in Britain. The life expectancies of the average man and woman have been considerably extended so that the great majority of people now survive to become liable to the chronic conditions associated with advancing age.

Series on Health
November 1972

During the course of the past hundred years countries such as Britain have seen a very marked change in their patterns of morbidity and mortality. For example, between 1848 and 1872 it has been estimated that over 32 per cent of all male deaths in England and Wales were caused by infectious diseases and that only 6 per cent were the result of cancer and diseases of the circulatory system. By 1970 the respective figures were 0.6 per cent and 56.6 per cent.

Series on Health
October 1972

The control of the major health problems of the early part of the twentieth century represents a triumph for medical progress in the past twenty-five years. Developments in pharmacology and in medical technology, and their widespread availability free or at nominal cost to the patient under the National Health Service, have transformed the pattern of sickness and mortality in Great Britain.

Series on Health
September 1972

Out of £868 minion spent on the revenue account of the hospital service in England and Wales in 1970, £242 million, or a little over one quarter, was spent on supplies of goods and equipment. Table 1 shows the breakdown of spending by the nine broad categories which have been used for accounting under the National Health Service. These are the only comprehensive data available at the national level, though they are unable to reflect the diversity of medical and non-medical goods purchased, from boiler fuel to pharmaceuticals and from food to surgical instruments.

Series on Health
June 1972

Migraine is typical of the sort of ill-defined self-limiting condition which takes up much of the time of general practitioners. It involves no risk of mortality but it can cause acute intermittent incapacity to the sufferer, occurring with little warning and at times which may be inconvenient, socially embarrassing and often costly. Perhaps its nature can be best illustrated by a quotation from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, himself a migraine sufferer, ' I 'm very brave really', he went on in a low voice, 'only today I happen to have a headache' (Tweedledum).

Laing, W.A. ed.

May 1972

Proceedings of a symposium HELD AT THE Royal College of General Practitioners on Thursday 21 October 1971

One of the main ideas behind a symposium on 'Evaluation in the Health Services' was to help establish a fruitful dialogue between clinicians, planners, sociologists, economists and others.

Series on Health
April 1972

Arguments in favour of family planning or 'birth control' can be advanced on the basis of one (or both) of two major premises. First, it may be held that overpopulation is the major problem facing the world today. Second, it may be held that family planning is justified primarily in terms of improvement in the quality of life of individuals and families who are able to use modem contraceptive techniques to choose for themselves if and when they want a child. Incidental to this is any saving to public funds that would follow from preventing unwanted births.