HL Deb 01 May 1995 vol 563 cc104-5WA
Baroness Jeger

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether there is evidence of an increase in tuberculosis, especially amongst homeless and impoverished people; and what action they propose to take to combat this problem.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege)

Notifications of tuberculosis in England and Wales fell from 49,558 in 1950 to 18,937 in 1963 and 5,086 in 1987. They then levelled out and there has been a small increase in recent years. There were 5,961 notifications in 1993.

In response to the small increase in tuberculosis notifications, an Inter-Departmental Working Group to consider policies for control in this country and to recommend best practice has been established. The group will focus on improving screening, prevention and treatment for those groups known to be at higher risk, including the homeless and immigrants from countries with high tuberculosis prevalence.