Treatment for TB is long – at least six months – and often difficult. Patients have to take many tablets every day, and often suffer from 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.
Although 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.
That’s why TB Alert provides support and information for people affected by TB in the UK.
Many people feel that they need support during their treatment for TB, which can be a very stressful time. They may not know anyone else with TB, and want to talk to someone who understands what they are going through.
The TB Action Group (TBAG) offers peer support for people during their treatment and recovery from TB. Members are on hand to provide practical and emotional support by telephone, face to face or via email throughout those long months of treatment, and even afterwards for people struggling with the long-term physical and emotional impacts of TB.
To find out more about peer support, please contact Helen Clegg (helen.clegg @ tbalert.org) or on 01273 234030.
Patient information leaflets
TB Alert provides a range of useful information leaflets for TB Nurses to give out to patients, covering such topics as diagnosis, treatment, latent TB and multi-drug resistant TB, among others. These are also available free for people to download directly.
Patient Support Fund
For many vulnerable TB patients, life was already a struggle financially before having to contend with six months of treatment for TB.
TB Alert’s Patient Support Fund offers specific, small grants to help these patients meet the costs associated with TB treatment, such as travel, nutritious food, heating and electricity. This helps them to take their TB treatment regularly and in full – helping to recover fully, and avoid drug-resistance. Applications are made on behalf of people undergoing TB treatment by their dedicated TB nurse.