Parliamentarians see Find&Treat in action 

22/06/2015 00:00 
The work of UCLH’s Find&Treat service has been highlighted by an all-party Parliamentary group working to reduce the prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in the UK.

The Find&Treat van is a mobile health unit operated across London that helps thousands of vulnerable patients get access to testing for TB, HIV, Hepatitis B and C and other priority public health infections.

Baroness Suttie and Nick Herbert MP, of the all-party Parliamentary group on TB,  visited the team screening King George’s (Riverside ECHG) and Edward Alsop Court (Salvation Army) hostels in Great Peter Street, Westminster, two of the many venues where Find&Treat works to provide care where it’s needed in local communities.

The van is now in expanded testing mode, screening patients for latent TB infection which, if left untreated, can progress to full-blown TB disease and infect others. One in five homeless patients seen by Find&Treat are infected with TB, and early detection and preventive treatment is key.

Dr Al Story, Find&Treat’s clinical lead, said: “We take our service to the people who need it most and provide one-stop-shop testing and onward care for the priority public health infections. Early detection and treatment prevents severe disease and onward transmission, and saves the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds.

"The rate of active TB in people who are homeless is 20 times higher than in the general population. One in five are infected with TB and one in six have chronic Hepatitis C. Both these diseases are national priorities and we are working closely with NHS England and Public Health England to expand our service to major cities nationally."

Dr Vanya Gant, clincial director for UCLH's infection control division, said: "I am particularly delighted that UCLH's investment in, and commitment to,  this service continues to see such high returns in terms of improving the Health of London's poorest, fastest. With this experience we very much hope we will be successful in overseeing the national rollout of our proven, highly cost-effective model of healthcare delivery and health promotion and prevention where it's needed."

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