Kingston’s Healthwatch chairman has said tuberculosis “has not been on our radar” despite the hospital treating almost 30 people for the infectious disease in the past year.

Figures have revealed TB has been reported in two Kingston wards – Norbiton and New Malden’s Beverley – according to a report released last week.

The report shows between 40 and 79 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 residents were recorded last year – this is despite Kingston being the least populated borough in the capital.

Neighbouring borough Richmond reported less than four cases of the disease, according to the report.

Grahame Snelling, from Kingston Healthwatch, said: “It is such an outlier. Not what you would expect to see in Kingston.

“[Kingston] is one of the more affluent boroughs.

“It has not been on our radar until that report came out. It is a public health matter that we need to look into.

“I will certainly be talking to my colleagues about what to do next.”

The findings were published in a London Assembly health committee report that called the disease a “barometer of health inequality” and noted London as the “TB capital of Western Europe”.

The infection typically attacks the lungs and is spread when people cough or sneeze.

Dr Onkar Sahota, London Assembly health committee chairman, said the report showed the disease was not from a “bygone era”, adding it is most prevalent in deprived areas.

He said: “Many Londoners will be surprised to hear that TB still exists in the capital.

“TB has a relationship with deprivation as well as clinical causes.

“[It] affects those who most need our help: migrants, the elderly, prisoners, homeless people and those who are marginalised from society.”

A third of London boroughs have been classed as high incidence, meaning they have rates of infection comparable with countries such as Algeria and Iraq.

Councillor Liz Green, leader of the Kingston Liberal Democrat opposition, said: “I have not seen the report and I am very surprised. These are not places where there are high levels of deprivation and you wouldn’t expect TB there.

“I think we need to talk to public health and find out why this is happening and what they intend to do about it.”

Kingston and Surbiton MP James Berry said: “It is good that the public awareness of TB is being raised. Kingston Hospital is also doing some very good into the disease.

"After reading the report I have spoken to Kingston Public Health and they say there is a strategy in place in Kingston, which I will be following.”

Kingston Hospital run a respiratory medicine department dealing with people who show symptoms of tuberculosis.

There is also a lead nurse at the hospital who runs an awareness session aimed at “those who work closely with vulnerable people”.