The Find&Treat team are very multidisciplinary and include former TB patients who work as Peer advocates, TB nurse specialists, social and outreach workers, radiographers and expert technicians. The job of UCLH's Find & Treat team is to take TB control into the community, find cases of active TB early and support patients to take a full course of treatment and get cured. Find & Treat are a specialist outreach team that work alongside over 200 NHS and third sector front-line services to tackle TB among homeless people, drug or alcohol users, vulnerable migrants and people who have been in prison. TB is a disease of poverty and inequality and these groups have the highest rates of TB rates and greatest risk of onward transmission. Their lifestyle can often mask the symptoms of TB and they have problems accessing hospital based diagnostic services and completing a minimum of six months daily drug treatment.
Active case finding
The service spans the TB pathway from detection, to diagnosis and onward care. To 'Find' TB cases early they raise awareness among service users and frontline professionals and screen almost 10,000 high risk people every year using a mobile digital x-ray unit as recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence. The screening service covers every London Borough and supports Public Health England to manage outbreaks of TB nationally.
Treatment and care
In partnership with Groundswell they recruit, train and support former TB patients who have experienced homelessness to work as Peer advocates in a multidisciplinary team. The Peers are an authentic voice to other service users and professionals and can increase screening uptake, support people to get cured, improve awareness and tackle stigma.
Through NIHR supported research at UCL they have pioneered the use of state of the art point of care diagnostics and internet technologies to support TB patients. The programme of research and continuous service improvement is embedded in all aspects of UCLH's Find & Treat work. They are now initiating an ambitious new programme of Department of Health funded research into our work to improve the management of Hepatitis And Latent TB (HALT Study) in partnership with UCL and the Hep C Trust.
- You can read about the impact of the research here in a UCL impact study
- UCL Hospital Services Find and Treat
- HSJ Jobs article on hard-to-reach groups