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Infectious diseases

Which diseases are notifiable?

The list of notifiable diseases can be found on the Public Health England website.

Who is responsible for notification?

All registered medical practitioners must provide information about confirmed and suspected cases of notifiable diseases. This is part of their professional duties. This may be undertaken in a patient's home or a surgery or a hospital.

Why notify?

The purpose of notification is to enable prompt investigation and response. This can minimise the spread of infectious disease and contamination in the community.

Notifications also provide data for use in surveillance of infection and contamination. This data can help, for example, in:

  • monitoring the effect of existing interventions (such as immunisation and food hygiene inspections)
  • identifying the need for new interventions
  • informing the planning of health care and other public services

The council’s responsibilities

We must appoint a 'Proper Officer' who receives the notifications relating to the area.

The Proper Officer instructs suitably competent persons, typically environmental health officers, to investigate the notifications received and in strict medical confidence. A risk assessment will then be undertaken.

We have the power to request health protection measures. For example, this may include the co-operation and the disinfection/decontamination of persons, things and premises.

Legal orders

Depending on the circumstances we can also require measures. These would be detailed in a legal order that has been imposed by a justice of the peace at a magistrates' court.

An order may be considered necessary to deal with a threat to human health from infection or contamination that presents, or could present, significant harm. An order may require, for example, that a child is kept away from school or a food handler is kept away from work.

The law and advice

The health protection measures are outlined in:

Advice is available on these websites:

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