TB service

 

​​​​​​​About us

The Tuberculosis (TB) Service of North Staffordshire is based at Cobridge Community Health Centre. The clinic brings the service into the community and closer to people's homes. We are a specialised secondary care service provided by University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust.

The TB service assesses patients with suspected TB infection, initiates anti-TB treatment, monitors the treatment and provides a TB screening programme for high risk individuals. We have about 40-50 TB cases a year in North Staffordshire but our service, providing specialist healthcare in the community, sees over 3,000 patients per year.  We have an on-site x-ray and pharmacy.

Our service offers easy and rapid access to an experienced TB team using the latest diagnostic methods including bronchoscopy, molecular techniques for early identification of MTB and drug resistances as well as Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) blood testing for latent TB. We are the regional hub for TB services in the North Midlands area and we have established a regional TB network sharing expertise as well as driving the quality of TB services through our established TB 'Cohort Review' covering Staffordshire and Shropshire. Our inpatient facilities at UHNM include two state of the art negative pressure rooms on the Infectious Diseases Ward where we are able to treat complex TB cases as inpatients including HIV co-infection and multi drug resistant cases.
 

Meet the team

Dr Sven Lehm - Consultant in Acute and Respiratory Medicine

MBChB (Hons), FRCP 

Dr Lehm undertook undergraduate medical studies in Germany and in the UK and qualified from Liverpool Medical School in 1997. He specialised in General Internal, Intensive Care and Respiratory Medicine in the West Midlands Deanery and was appointed as a Consultant in Acute and Respiratory Medicine at UHNM in 2008.

Dr Lehm has been the lead Consultant for Acute Medicine as well as the TB service for over 5 years. He has driven the development of a modern 46-bed Acute Medical Unit and is actively shaping post graduate education for Acute Medicine Specialist trainees both at UHNM as well as regionally. He has a particular interest in the development of sustainable 7-day working patterns in Acute Medicine.

He gained ample experience in TB during his post graduate training, working in various TB units including Heart of England Hospital, Birmingham. He has a particular interest in atypical TB infection affecting the lung and has presented abstracts on the topic at international conferences.  He is also actively engaging in research in this area. 


Dr Tony Cadwgan - Consultant in Infectious Diseases
BSc (Hons), Med.Sci, MBChB, MRCP, DTM+H, FRCP 

Dr Cadwgan qualified in Medicine in Aberdeen in 1994, and has been a Consultant at UHNM since 2003. P
rofessional interests include HIV, TB and Community Acquired infection. Along with colleagues in the ID department is responsible for the inpatient aspects of TB care and assists Dr Lehm in running the TB outpatient clinics.


Mandy Middleton  - Tuberculosis Clinical Nurse Specialist
Mandy did her nurse training at UHNM and qualified as a Registered General Nurse in 1989. She has worked in respiratory medicine since qualifying and gained experience with Tuberculosis whilst working at Shelton Chest Clinic.  

Tracey Clarke - Tuberculosis Nurse Specialist
Tracey did her nurse training at UHNM and qualified in 1987.  She worked in Respiratory Medicine for many years moving to the TB Service in 2011.​

Janet Clark - Senior Clinical Support Worker
Janet has recently joined the TB service having previously worked for the respiratory physiology laboratory at the Royal Stoke. Janet is currently undergoing training to support the TB service in their daily clinics and home visits in the community.

Carol Brown - Support Secretary/Receptionist
Carol started to work at the TB Service in a clerical role back in July 1992. She has since developed her role, gaining experience with tuberculosis and many other aspects of te service.  

 

Referral guidance

Referral to the University Hospitals of North Midlands Tuberculosis Service can be made via your GP, practice nurse, health visitor or midwife.

We also welcome and encourage referrals from any other practitioners suspecting TB as a diagnosis as well as referrals from X ray departments, pathology and microbiology laboratories suspecting TB as a diagnosis on the basis of imaging or laboratory samples.

GPs and other referrers

Please fax urgent referrals to 01782 401075 or telephone the clinic on 03007900162 for advice. The team are happy to discuss cases.

 If you are concerned about a possible diagnosis of active TB patients will be seen within 1 week of referral. ​​


 

Our services

BCG
This is the vaccine that helps to protect against Tuberculosis (TB). BCG is no longer offered routinely to children in the United Kingdom. It has been replaced with a targeted programme for babies, children and young adults at higher risk of TB. 


These include:

• All babies born or who have a parent or grandparent who were born in a country where there is a high number of cases.

Your midwife or health visitor should arrange a BCG if your baby falls into this category.

• Older children who have not had BCG may be screened for TB risk factors, and tested and vaccinated if appropriate

Please ask your school nurse, health visitor or practice nurse if you feel your child is at increased risk and has not been vaccinated.

•Occupational groups such as those working in healthcare, laboratory staff, veterinary staff, veterinary staff, prison staff, staff of care homes for the elderly and staff of hostels for the homeless

If you are in one of these groups and have not previously been vaccinated you should contact your occupational health provider​.

 

FAQs​

What is TB?
Tuberculosis (TB) is an illness caused by bacteria.  TB most commonly affects the lungs, but you can get TB in almost any part of the body. TB is curable with a course of antibiotics, usually lasting 6 months. TB in the lungs is the only type of TB that can be infectious, which means it can be passed on to other people. Most people will not be infectious within 2 weeks of starting to take the correct treatment.

How common is TB? 
TB is much less common in the UK than it was early last century, but the number of TB cases has been rising since about 1990. TB is very common in some developing countries where people cannot easily access the drugs they need to get better.

How is TB diagnosed?
If the doctor thinks you may be ill with TB in the lungs they will ask you to give a sputum (phlegm) sample, which will be tested for TB bacteria. If the doctor thinks you may have TB in another part of your body they may do the same test using a sample of fluid or tissue. 

What are the symptoms of TB?
People who are ill with TB may have some of the following symptoms


• a cough that lasts for more than 3 weeks
•fever (high temperature)
• night sweats
•unexplained weight loss
•extreme tiredness
•no appetite

For more information, visit:
http://www.tbalert.org/