Journal Article

Screening of new entrants for tuberculosis: responses to port notifications

Helen Hogan, Richard Coker, Alex Gordon, Hilary Pickles and Margie Meltzer

in Journal of Public Health

Published on behalf of Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom

Volume 27, issue 2, pages 192-195
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 1741-3842
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1741-3850 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdi019
Screening of new entrants for tuberculosis: responses to port notifications

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Background Tuberculosis in England and Wales is associated with recently arrived immigrants. Screening new entrants for tuberculosis has received considerable attention recently. Despite several calls to reorganize screening processes for new entrants because of perceived ineffectiveness, some systems at ports have remained largely unchanged, including notification arrangements.

Methods A postal questionnaire was sent to Consultants in Communicable Disease Control (CsCDC) who normally receive port health notification forms from London Heathrow Port Health Control Unit relating to new entrants who had either been screened and found to have a normal chest X-ray, not had an chest X-ray due to pregnancy or young age or whose examination was inconclusive (Port 101 and 102 forms).

Results Almost half of the responding CsCDC attempted to follow-up all Port 101 and 102 referrals; of these CsCDC, 46 per cent reported that they were actually able to follow-up under 50 per cent. CsCDC had developed their own criteria to aid decisions as to which referrals to follow-up.

Conclusion The follow-up by CsCDC of new entrants passing through Heathrow Port Health Control Unit who have been screened and found to have a normal chest X-ray, not had an X-ray due to pregnancy or young age, or whose examination was inconclusive varies considerably and there is no consistent national practice. Substantial efforts are being expended on attempting to follow-up new entrants, many of whom may be at low risk of tuberculosis. The effectiveness (and efficiency) of this approach is probably low.

Keywords: new entrant; screening; tuberculosis

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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