Health bosses are looking at ways to tackle tuberculosis (TB) in our district after levels of the disease became the second worst in Yorkshire.
The region was behind only Bradford in terms of number of cases per 100,000 people in 2013, with a total of 75 cases.
Figures shared by Kirklees’ Health Protection Board showed twice as many people have the potentially deadly lung disease in the district than the national average.
Speaking at a Health and Wellbeing Board meeting at Dewsbury Town Hall last Thursday, Kirklees public health chief Dr Judith Hooper revealed Kirklees Council’s plans to tackle the disease.
She proposed a district-wide multi-agency board to bring together the best practice in clinical care, social support and public health.
The group would look to reduce incidences of TB in Kirklees by 50 per cent in the next 10 years.
It also plans increase the proportion of people completing treatment to 90 per cent in the next 12 months.
Dr Hooper said: “Nationally, the UK has a major problem with TB. West Yorkshire was highlighted as one of the hotspots and one of them is Kirklees.
“The main issue is bringing together the different groups in Kirklees.
“The council has a part to play in working with those who are most vulnerable.”
Dr Hooper also proposed a patient-centred model of care for TB, specially targeting people with social care needs.
The suggestion comes after the majority of people with TB in Kirklees were found to be living in deprived parts of Batley, Dewsbury and Huddersfield.
The report revealed alcohol abuse, homelessness and a prison record were commonly reported social risk factors
Dr Hooper said: “We hope the group will work with the more challenging and hard to reach folk as these are the people we need to have more communication with.”