Monday 24 March is World TB Day and to mark the occasion Public Health England (PHE) has launched a consultation on proposals for a national strategy to combat TB.
NHS England welcomes the opportunity to work with PHE on the consultation.
Tuberculosis, TB, is a disease that can have serious consequences. In 2012 there were 8,751 cases and 434 deaths in the UK.
It is a significant and growing problem in some parts of England, particularly in conurbations. It is important that TB is managed effectively and that action is taken to cut incidence of the disease and limit development of drug resistant TB.
NHS England has already taken action to tackle TB through the establishment of a Clinical Reference Group for TB, which will guide the development of more effective services for the treatment of the disease.
More needs to be done, however, to support the overall prevention and effective management of the disease and this consultation is an important step forward.
Professor Mike Morgan, NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Respiratory Disease, said: “One of my priorities has been to support improvements in the way the NHS manages TB and I welcome this opportunity for NHS England to work with Public Health England to further this work.
“Of particular concern is the risk of drug resistant TB, which could become a major risk to the health of the population in future if action isn’t taken to improve the control of the disease.
“Successful management of TB requires an integrated approach between public health, local government, and the NHS in local communities. We look forward to working in partnership with Public Health England and alongside our other partners through the course of the consultation and beyond to develop a comprehensive strategy that will define how TB is treated and controlled.“