Letters, calls and emails: Tuberculosis defences are easily sidestepped

Dear Editor

The system to prevent tuberculosis entering the UK is a shambles.

If you arrange to enter via Manchester airport and land at night, when the health check is closed, all that happens is your address is noted and you can pass unchecked into the community. 

A nurse then sends an appointment to come and have your BCG scar looked at at a later date.

Even if an immigrant attends, the appointment, the nurse has no way of making sure the person is who they say they are.

I suggest that GPs ask their practice nurses to check for BCG scars in immigrants recently arrived in the UK from TB-endemic areas as part of the registration medical.

Dr Rob Beardsell

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