Housing and health

Letter from the Medical Officer of Health for Manchester, 1st July 1936 on measuring improvements in health from new housing (HLG 49/302)




Sunlight House,
Quay Street,
Manchester, 3.

Our ref. RVC/DK

1st July, 1936.

Dear Mr. Howell,

Removal of tenants from unit houses to new housing estates.

I am in receipt of your letter of 29th June with a copy of the letter from Mr. Wrigley of the Ministry of Health.

I send with this a copy of a table which I have had made in which death rates, both from general and specific causes are given for the municipal housing estates in the city and, for comparative purposes, the corresponding figures for the whole city and those of the areas which have been represented as clearance areas.

In forwarding this to Mr. Wrigley, I shall be obliged if you will make it clear that these are crude death rates and that the application of the correction factor for age would raise the comparative figure for the new estates-to what extent it is not possible to make any estimate. These “crude” death rates are therefore open to vigorous attack if used in support of housing work and should not be used except after the advice of the statisticians of the Ministry has been obtained.

A much more valuable and important piece of evidence as to the improvement of the physical conditions of persons in the new estates is to be found in the report of the Manchester School Medical Officer dealing with growth in height and weight in children. This is to be found in the report for the year 1934, p.11.

I am,
Yours faithfully,
Medical Officer of Health

The Town Clerk

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