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Prisoners: Tuberculosis

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cases of tuberculosis occurred in prisons in each of the last five years; and what steps he is taking to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis in prisons. (148406)

Information is not routinely available from prison establishments on the number of prisoners diagnosed as suffering from tuberculosis (TB). However as TB is a notifiable disease, each new case is reported to the local Consultant in Communicable Disease Control (CCDC).

The Prison Service’s Performance Standard, Health Services for Prisoners (May 2004) requires every prison establishment to have in place effective arrangements for the prevention, control and management of communicable diseases, including tuberculosis. These must include arrangements for the notification of all incidents of notifiable disease, such as TB to the local Health Protection Agency’s Consultant in Communicable Disease Control (CCDC) and an action plan in the event of an outbreak of a communicable disease. The diagnosis, care, treatment and management and contact tracing of prisoners with tuberculosis is undertaken in consultation with local national health service specialists in accordance with the British Thoracic Society guidelines for the management of TB.