Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Non-attendance of patients to the BCG vaccination clinic: a multifactorial conundrum

Historically, if a newborn baby was considered to be at high risk of coming into contact with tuberculosis (TB), the neonatal Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination was offered prior to discharge home. This process was halted with national effect in September 2021. Instead, those babies identified as eligible are now given the vaccine at about 28 days of life, thus necessitating care providers to instate new methods for recalling patients and administering the BCG. We have conducted a service review of the Leeds BCG clinic to expose barriers to patient attendance and bolster the poor recall rates seen within this vulnerable population group.

Kate Parmenter
ST4 Paediatric Trainee

Rachel Toone
Consultant Neonatologist

Leeds Neonatal Service, Leeds General Infirmary

Parmenter K., Toone R. Non-attendance of patients to the BCG vaccination clinic: a multifactorial conundrum Infant 2023; 19(2): 63-67.

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BCG vaccination; population health; infectious disease; tuberculosis; screening
Key points
  1. Attendance rates to outpatient BCG clinics across Leeds are suboptimal.
  2. We collected retrospective data for eligible patients to find those that failed to attend their appointment. For these patients we collected ethnographic, socioeconomic and demographic determinants of health. The parents were contacted to discuss factors influencing clinic non-attendance.
  3. We expect the Leeds experience will be generalisable nationally and this is a cause for concern.

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