New TB screening services in Newham
Following hot on the heels from Healthwatch Newham’s TB/Tuberculosis workshop and information event, held 28th March – wider TB screening will now be happening across Newham from 1st April, 2014.
In 2012, 366 residents were diagnosed with TB in Newham, a staggering rate of 117 per 100,000 of the population. Moreover, services have been concentrated on active (or contagious) TB rather than latent TB infection.
Improvements are therefore being made to better address TB locally – and to this end, supplementing existing services, new TB screening services are to be provided, involving:
- All new patients registering with a GP in Newham who are aged 16-50 and at high risk of having latent TB infection (LTBI) being offered a blood test (IGRA)
- A rolling programme across all practices to look at those already registered and sending them a letter inviting them to have the same blood test
These new services were outlined in a presentation, at our TB workshop and information event, by Dr Margaret Chirgwin – Programme Director of Primary Care Strategy, at Newham Clinical Commissioning Group.