The Collaborative Tuberculosis Strategy for England recommends latent TB infection testing and treatment for recent entrants from countries with the highest rates of TB. The toolkit has been developed by TB Alert, in partnership with Public Health England and NHS England, to be used locally to assist local programme leads as well as by individual providers involved in any part of the process.
The toolkit assesses the three stages of a successful latent TB programme – access, testing and treatment. It identifies specific issues and challenges which might arise and strategies which can help address them. It also introduces a range of resources to raise public awareness, improve professional education, promote better communication between providers and patients, and support patients during treatment.
A key issue for latent TB programmes will be making sure every person who is eligible under the programme is aware of the service and can make an informed decision about whether to be tested and, if positive, receive treatment. The toolkit therefore describes:
- how to create a responsive community environment for local testing and treatment programmes
- strategies to help overcome barriers to testing and treatment and maximise the uptake of the programme
- the information and support people will need throughout the patient journey.