Greg Mulholland – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Greg Mulholland on 2016-03-23.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what guidance his Department provides to medical practitioners on the similarities between Kawasaki disease and scarlet fever.

George Freeman

The Government published the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases in November 2013. The strategy contains over 50 commitments to ensure people living with a rare disease, such as Kawasaki disease, have access to the best evidence-based care and treatment that health and social services, working with charities, researchers and industry can provide.

It is the responsibility of the professional regulators to set the standards and outcomes for education and training and approve training curricular to ensure newly qualified healthcare professionals are equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide high quality patient care. This includes training in both scarlet fever and Kawasaki disease.

Health Education England works with bodies that set curricula such as the General Medical Council and the Royal Colleges to seek to ensure training meets the needs of patients.

The Department and its arm’s length bodies have not published any specific guidance on the similarities between Kawasaki disease and scarlet fever.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guideline on the assessment and initial management of fever in under 5s sets out the circumstances in which a diagnosis of Kawasaki disease should be considered, and Public Health England (PHE) has endeavoured to keep healthcare professionals, schools and the general public informed of the increased incidence of scarlet fever through timely information, news stories and updates on the PHE website and by using social and other media. These awareness raising measures assist general practitioners and other frontline healthcare professionals in reaching a correct diagnosis more quickly and encourage patients to seek medical advice early so that suspected cases receive prompt antibiotic treatment to reduce the risk of complications and limit further transmission.