TitleCentral Health Clinic, Sheffield
AdminHistoryMaternity and Child Welfare Centre, Bainbridge Buildings, Norfolk Street, 1910-1918; 143 Norfolk Street, 1918-1927; Orchard Place (later known as Orchard Square), 1927-1974
Central Health Clinic, Mulberry Street, 1974-

The Central Health Clinic had origins in the work of the Sheffield Infantile Mortality Committee, appointed in November 1906 to consider means for reducing the high rate of infant mortality. Its initial report, produced in February 1907, put the cause for the high death rate as the 'ignorance and apathy of a large number of mothers' and referred to various potential ways to address the situation including: the establishment of Infant Milk Depots supplying dried milk for bottle-fed infants during the season when diarrhoea was prevalent; a longer period of abstention from factory work after childbirth; the early notification of births and the registration of stillbirths; measures for the better education of mothers and prospective mothers; and measures for promoting cleanliness outside the home (e.g. conversion of privies, paving of courtyards). From summer 1907, doctors held 'baby consultations' at five points where dried milk, purchased by the Medical Officer's department, was available at cost price. In 1910 these facilities were provided centrally, from premises in Bainbridge Buildings, Norfolk Street.

The Notification of Births Act, 1907, required the immediate notification of all births to the Medical Officer of Health; it was then his responsibility to arrange for a trained health visitor (previously known as a woman sanitary inspector) to call on the mother in her home and to teach her how to protect her baby's health. From 1899 Sheffield had had women sanitary inspectors; their salaries were reviewed in 1907 according to their additional qualifications - they were required to have undergone training in sanitary work, midwifery and hospital nursing. In early 1915, plans were presented for a proposed building for the women inspectors and the Maternity and Child Welfare Centre on Corporation land at the corner of Campo Lane and Lee Croft [presumably not built].

The Maternity and Child Welfare Act, 1918, gave legal recognition to local authorities' antenatal centres, for the supervision of expectant and nursing mothers, and to the infant welfare centres for children under five years which had been set up following the 1907 Act. In 1918, these Sheffield facilities moved into less cramped premises at 143, Norfolk Street. Its work was reported by the Maternity and Child Welfare Committee (from 1919 a subcommittee of the Health Committee; from 1948 renamed the Maternal, Infant and Nursing Welfare subcommittee). Attendances grew and new premises were built in Orchard Place: the foundation stone for the new clinic was laid by Sir Kingsley Wood, MP, parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Health, on 13 October 1926. (The stone in the now-called Orchard Square is still visible; the site is now [2006] occupied by Waterstones bookshop.) It opened in December 1927.

Under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health for the city, the medical staff in 1925 consisted of two medical men and four medical women. The non- medical staff consisted of the head woman inspector and 25 assistant inspectors and six clerks.

By the 1960s, as well as the principal Orchard Place clinic, there were over 20 welfare centres including those at Firth Park, Manor Top and Woodhouse. Activities expanded, and Orchard Place was used as the point for blood collection for civilian victims in Vietnam in 1971; also in that year the Domiciliary Family Planning Service was established, building on the existing domiciliary midwives network. The Service was devised to offer women with special difficulties advice and contraception in their own homes.

Relocation of the clinic became necessary, in view of the proposed development of the Orchard Place area; in March 1974 approval was granted for the rental of the Wilks Building in Norfolk Street as replacement premises, prior to the move to the new Mulberry Street premises in April 1974. Thereafter known as the Central Health Clinic, it offers advice on contraception, pregnancy, sexual health and sexuality.

Administration: the Central Health Clinic (previously known as the Maternity and Child Welfare Centre) was administered by the Health Committee of Sheffield City Council until 1974. Under the National Health Reorganisation Act 1973, from 1974 NHS Area Health Authorities, with their Health Districts, took over the public health functions of local authorities. It was presumably at that time that records of some urban and rural district councils were apparently transferred to the Central Health Clinic for safekeeping, accounting for the items from Penistone Rural District Council, Penistone Urban District Council, Stocksbridge Urban District Council and Wortley Rural District Council.
Description Patients 1944 - 1988
NHS4/1/1 Notification of births registers, 1964 - 1988
NHS4/1/2 Divisional notification of birth registers, 1980 - 1982
NHS4/1/3 District birth registration registers, 1972
NHS4/1/4 Maternity Clinic case books, 1960 - 1970
NHS4/1/5 Diphtheria immunisation and vaccination records, 1946 - 1985
NHS4/1/6 Statistical summaries of vaccinations, 1944 - 1972

Penistone Rural District Council 1959 - 1967
NHS4/2/1 Register of notifications of infectious diseases, 1959 - 1967

Penistone Urban District Council 1959 - 1967
NHS4/3/1 Register of notifications of infectious diseases, 1959 - 1967

Stocksbridge Urban District Council, 1953 - 1974
NHS4/4/1 Registers of notifications of infectious diseases, 1959 - 1974
NHS4/4/2 Registers of tuberculosis notifications received, 1953 - 1973

Wortley Rural District Council 1917 - 1974
NHS4/5/1 Registers of notifications of infectious diseases, 1957 - 1974
NHS4/5/2 Registers of tuberculosis notifications received, 1917 - 1973
NHS4/5/3 Mortomley Hall papers, 1963 - 1964
Date1917 - 1988
Extent113 items
AccessConditionsUnder the Data Protection Act, access to information in the patient records is restricted. For further information, please refer to a member of staff.
RelatedMaterialSheffield Health Committee minutes, 1849 - 1974 ( CA112; CA39)
Sheffield Health Committee draft minutes, 1881 - 1974 (CA164/1-169; CA673/18-30)
Sheffield borough: sample vaccination registers, 1895 - 1925 (CA28/9-20)
Sheffield Corporation Act 1901: copy correspondence concerning supply of information as to births in four of the poorest class districts, 1901 (CA605/196)
Sheffield Infant Mortality Committee minutes, 1906 - 1907 (CA-VAC)
Questionnaires and statistics used in enquiry into infant mortality, 1906 (MD1851)
Sheffield Health Committee: building plans for maternity and welfare centre, and caretaker's house in Orchard Place, 1926 (CA206/30404)
Plans of maternity and child welfare clinic and relief station at Ridgeway Road, Intake, n.d. [c.1960] (CA517/240-241)
Family Planning Association, Sheffield branch with clinic at Attercliffe, 1933 - 1970 (LD2374-2383; Acc. 1989/40; Acc. 1994/73)
Sheffield Maternal, Infant and Nursing Welfare subcommittee minutes, 1942 - 1957 (CA39/85-94; CA177)
Sheffield Health and Welfare Committee draft minutes, 1968 - 1969 (CA673/31)
Photograph of mobile vaccination unit outside Sheffield Town Hall and newscutting about polio vaccination, 1961 (SY788/Z1/8)
Lists (printed) of health centres and clinics in the West Riding, produced as supplements to County Medical Officer's reports, 1970 - 1972 (SY448/C1/1)
Stocksbridge UDC: Medical Officer of Health monthly reports, 1913 - 1944 (CA76/1); annual report 1969 (CA76/2)
Wortley RDC: Hospitals and Public Health Committee minutes, 1940 - 1974 (CA529/119-123)
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