We need people – people like those in TB Alert, who are focused and ambitious and care for people at grass roots in the UK, India and Africa. Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership
Treatment for TB is long – at least six months – and often difficult. TB patients are required to take many tablets each day, that often cause unpleasant side effects. They may also feel isolated or that no-one understands what they are going through. Many people are surprised that someone could even fall ill with TB in the UK today, and stigma around TB is all too common.
Though treatment for TB is free in the UK, there are many costs associated with treatment; from travel to regular hospital appointments to eating the nutritious diet that is essential to support recovery. TB Alert understands that patients in the UK are often from poorer sections of society, and some may fall through the gaps in benefits and support.
This is why TB Alert helps to provide support for people affected by TB in the UK, through our Information Service, Patient Support Fund and the TB Action Group.
TB Alert is unable to provide an information line service at the current time. This is due to staff shortages. We are working hard to find a solution to this, and hope to provide a full service again as soon as possible. We’re sorry about any inconvenience this may cause you.
In the meantime, please contact your local TB service for information about TB. You can find their contact details by calling your local health protection team: visit http://www.hpa.org.uk/AboutTheHPA/WhatTheAgencyDoes/LocalServices/ and click on the ‘Health Protection Services – postcode lookup.’ Enter your postcode and you will be given the contact details for your local health protection team and if you call them, they will provide you with the contact details for your local TB service.
You may also wish to contact NHS Direct with an enquiry at: www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or call NHS 111 by dialling 111 from landline or mobile free of charge. Remember that your General Practitioner, or local GP can also be a good source of information and advice about TB.
Information and support can also be sourced online, through our sister site The Truth About TB and through our online patient community.
Patient Support Fund
TB Alert provides specific, small-grants under our patient support fund to help vulnerable patients meet the costs associated with TB treatment, and to take their TB treatment regularly and in full - helping to avoid drug-resistance. Applications are made on behalf of people undergoing TB treatment by their dedicated TB nurse.
We know that our grants can make a real difference to:
- Support travel costs for patients to attend regular appointments
- Ensure patients receive nutritious meals, especially those who are rough sleepers or that cannot access any other forms of financial support
- Cover the costs of heating and electricity, which are even more important for people in poor health
- Buy basic household items, including essential toiletries and kitchenware to help patients prepare nutritious food
- Buy essential clothing, especially warm clothing
If you are a TB Nurse, supporting a TB patient in financial hardship, find out how to make an application under the Patient Support Fund.
The TB Action Group
The TB Action Group (TBAG) is a network for people affected by TB in the UK that provides support for people during their treatment and recovery from TB. Members also use their insights and stories to raise awareness of TB and to advocate for improved TB services.
Find out more:
Patient Support Fund
TB Action Group
» TB Action Group