Fighting Infection

Press Notice




Sub-Committee I, chaired by Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, will consider and report on issues relating to human infectious disease in the United Kingdom.

The Committee is particularly interested in:

1. current effectiveness of the surveillance systems in the United Kingdom and potential problems in the future

2. links between surveillance and treatment of infectious disease

3. links between surveillance and the strategies for preventing infectious disease.

and will pay regard to:

  • developments in surveillance, vaccine and diagnostic technologies

  • international approaches to surveillance, treatment and prevention of infectious disease

  • public attitudes, risk-perception and the role of the media.

Written submissions should be received by 14th October 2002. They should address the following questions:

1. What are the main problems facing the surveillance, treatment and prevention of human infectious disease in the United Kingdom?

2. Will these problems be adequately addressed by the Government's recent infectious disease strategy, Getting Ahead of the Curve?

3. Is the United Kingdom benefiting from advances in surveillance and diagnostic technologies; if not, what are the obstacles to its doing so?

4. Should the United Kingdom make greater use of vaccines to combat infection and what problems exist for developing new, more effective or safer vaccines?

5. Which infectious diseases pose the biggest threats in the foreseeable future?

6. What policy interventions would have the greatest impact on preventing outbreaks of and damage caused by infectious disease in the United Kingdom?

The Committee welcomes evidence on any area of infectious disease. However, as other bodies have recently inquired, or are in the process of inquiring into antimicrobial resistance, hospital-acquired infections and sexually transmitted infection, the Committee will not make these primary concerns in its inquiry. Nevertheless the Committee will not exclude these areas.

Please note that the Committee will focus on UK health issues, not diseases primarily affecting overseas countries, whilst acknowledging that infection crosses borders and may threaten the United Kingdom. The Committee will also focus on naturally occurring infection rather than bioterrorism.

The Committee will not consider evidence on whether the MMR vaccine is safe.



The deadline for written evidence is 14 October 2002.

Where and what to send

Submissions should be sent to Melanie Moore, the Secretary to Sub-Committee I, preferably as an email attachment ( Please ensure that you include relevant contact details.

Short submissions of 6 pages or fewer are preferred; longer submissions should include a summary.

Evidence sent as hard copy should be clearly printed or typed on single sides of A4 paper, unstapled. Paragraphs should be numbered. If drawings or charts are included, we ask that these are black-and-white and of camera-ready quality. Evidence should be attributed and dated, with a note of the author's name and position.

It would be helpful if you could state whether evidence is submitted on an individual or corporate basis.

Public sessions

The Sub-Committee will invite some of those who submit written evidence to give oral evidence, usually in public at Westminster.

Public sessions will begin from October 2002; transcripts of such sessions will be published.

Keeping in touch with the inquiry

You can follow the progress of the inquiry via the Science and Technology Sub-Committee I web pages, accessed from


Please contact Rebecca Neal, Clerk of Sub-Committee I, Committee Office, House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW. Telephone 020 7219 5750; fax 020 7219 0277, email