Special Interest Groups

Part of:
Society of Medical Officers of Health
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


In 1919 constitutional provision was made for the formation of specialist Groups. These came to cover most of the sectional activities of members and made the Society truly representative of all medical officers. Groups played an important part in the collation of evidence and comments for Government committees, policy documents and draft regulations, making it possible for the Society to speak with authority in most public health matters. (See also Section L).

The size and level of activity of the Groups varied. Some of the most active organised their own refresher courses, e.g. the Maternal and Child Health and School Health Service groups. Many of the Groups comprised regional sub-groups which arranged meetings in their areas and reported proceedings to the Group Secretary. Representatives sat on the Group Executive or Council. Hardly any original sub-group records have survived. However, some examples can be found in P.2 and P.9, and reports of sub-group meetings and activities are often included in Group Council minutes and Public Health, under 'Society proceedings'.

A particularly good set of Group records exists for the County Borough and School Health Service groups, the former including eight files of evidence and comments prepared by the Group.

Following reorganisation of the Society, all Groups were abolished at the end of Sep 1974 and replaced by five Specialist Committees of Council (see D.3). Three new Groups were established in the 1980s and 1990s but they were never as active as the pre-1974 Groups (see P.14-17).

For Audiology Sub-Group - See School Health Service Group

The County Medical Officers of Health Group - No papers in this deposit: The Association of County Medical Officers of Health of England and Wales, first met in Oct 1902, and was formally constituted in 1911. Close connection with the Society existed from 1902 and in 1945 the Association also constituted itself as the County Medical Officers Group of the Society, effective from 1946. However, it kept its identity as an autonomous association and had some existence independent of the Society. This was partly because of the need to maintain an independent relationship with the County Councils Association and other bodies. There were joint meetings of the Group and Association between 1946 and 1956, after which separate general meetings were held consecutively on the same day. There was only ever one Executive Committee, even after the introduction of separate constitutions for Group and Association in 1962. Records of the Group and Association are not really distinguishable. Following the reorganisation of local government in 1974, County MOHs were replaced by Area MOHs based on the new Area Health Authorities within the NHS. Early in 1974 the Association of Area Medical Officers of Health succeeded the Association of County Medical Officers of Health and the County MOHs Group was disbanded. The AAMOH was dissolved in 1981 in anticipation of the abolition of AHAs in April 1982. The records of the Association of County Medical Officers of Health / County Medical Officers of Health Group (SA/CMO) and the Association of Area Medical Officers of Health (SA/AMO) are held separately on deposit in the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre. See also Public Health, 1975, Vol 89, pp141-142.

Scottish Child Health Group: Formed 1947 (see Public Health, Mar 1947). It was dissolved in 1970 following a report to Council in Nov 1970 that the Group had been inactive for a number of years. Records covering 1947-1963 (2 volumes of minutes) are held on deposit by Greater Glasgow Health Board Archive, University of Glasgow.

See also M.8&.9 for lists of Group Secretaries and on deposit of Group records.



Physical description

28 boxes, 2 oversize boxes


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