OHE Publications

April 1975

At first sight it might seem disturbing that accidental deaths are contributing an increasing proportion of the total mortality amongst young people in the UK. In 1932, for example, approximately 6 per cent of all deaths in England and Wales in the 1-4 years old age group were due to accidents. By 1972 the proportion was 24 per cent. For the 5-14 age group the rise was from 12 per cent to 37 per cent and in the 15-24 year old age group 48 per cent of all deaths in 1972 were due to accidents compared with only 12 per cent in 1932. Yet in reality the picture is much more encouraging.

Series on Health
December 1974

Parkinson's Disease has probably occurred amongst elderly people throughout history. But it is now a more serious burden to society than at any time in the past because the development of modern medicines coupled with the improvement in living standards in the industrialised countries has largely eliminated the traditional major threats to health such as the infectious diseases. The consequent rise in life expectancy has led to marked increases in the prevalence and significance of the chronic, disabling conditions of old age.

October 1974

The 'venereal' diseases of syphilis and gonorrhoea, whilst deserving close attention, do not constitute one of the major health problems of Britain today. In 1972, in England, about one man in every 10,000 and one woman in every 30,000 consulted a venereal disease clinic with syphilis. For gonorrhoea about one man in 600 and one woman in 1,200 consulted clinics in the course of the year. Treatment usually presents no serious problems in this country, although some commentators have been concerned by the rising trend in gonococcal infections.

Series on Health
September 1974

During the past century the life expectancy at birth of the average Englishman has risen from 40 to around 70 years. Whereas it is likely that in 1870 only 60 per cent or less of children born alive in this country survived their first five years 98 per cent did so in 1970.

Taylor, D. ed.

July 1974

The physical health and longevity of the people of countries such as Britain has improved dramatically during the course of the past 100 years. In the middle and later decades of the 19th Century the average Englishman had at birth a life expectancy of around 40 years. Today it is nearly 70 years. In 1898 the pioneer social investigator Seebohm Rowntree recorded in a survey in York an infant mortality of 247 per 1,000 live births amongst the poorest class and one of 94 per 1,000 amongst the well-to-do.

Series on Health
June 1974

The United Kingdom's 25,000 family doctors, together with the nurses, midwives, health visitors, receptionists and others who make up the primary medical care team, deal with over 90 per cent of all illnesses which reach the formal structure of the health services. They also play a major role in generating the work of the specialist, hospital sector.

Series on Health
March 1974

Even at the start of the National Health Service's existence in 1948 it was realised by many of those employed in it that its tripartite division into hospital, local authority and executive council services, was to some extent unsatisfactory. Although the 1946 Act establishing the NHS represented a skilled and workable compromise between the interests and beliefs of the various groups involved in health care planning and delivery at that time, developments over the past 25 years have made a structural reorganisation increasingly necessary.

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.