Improving the detection of active tuberculosis (TB) in accident and emergency (A&E) departments and evaluation of health protection service interventions against tuberculosis.
This study is focused upon early diagnosis, referral and treatment of active tuberculosis (TB), which has two key components:
1) ensuring optimal outcome for individuals;
2) contributing to disease control in public health terms by preventing further spread.
A&E Departments are an important point of testing and referral for the client group that constitute those at greatest risk, as for many this will be their only interaction with the health service. Currently, A&E Departments contribute about 20% of those diagnosed with TB. The majority of these individuals are most likely to have presented with symptoms indicative of disease, compared to those attending for other reasons who would have been unlikely to have been tested or referred.
The ACE Study seeks to evaluate specific measures currently being undertaken by Public Health England and the NHS to control TB, as well as investigate whether case finding for active TB in A&E departments would improve TB control. The economic impact of these interventions are evaluated, providing a measure of its value for money.