Detainees: Infectious Diseases:Written question - 16550

Asked by Kate Osamor
Asked on: 17 November 2015
Department of Health
Detainees: Infectious Diseases
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what his Department's policy is on testing detainees for infectious diseases such as TB.
Answered by: Jane Ellison
Answered on: 25 November 2015

In April 2015, Public Health England, NHS England, and Home Office Immigration Enforcement jointly published a National Partnership Agreement which outlines shared commitments and priorities across the three organisations relating to the health and wellbeing of people in detention in the immigration removal estate. This includes a joint priority to improve the pro-active detection, surveillance and management of infectious diseases in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs), particularly in respect of blood-borne viruses (BBVs) and tuberculosis (TB), and to improve capability to detect and respond to outbreaks and incidents.

A programme of work to implement the provisions of the National Partnership Agreement is being taken forward by the three organisations. Use of new technology is being explored in some IRCs including using digital x-ray technology to detect active TB disease in the lungs as well as blood tests to detect both latent TB and BBV infection.

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