Supporting Latent TB Screening

QHS are conducting a recall to screen patients North Southwark identified by UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) who may be at risk of having Latent Tuberculosis (i.e. the TB is sleeping).

Patients identified will be contacted with a letter and a text message inviting them to have this simple blood test.

Further information about latent TB and the differences between active and latent TB can be found by visiting The Truth About TB.

Who is at risk?

UKHSA recommends that anyone who fits the below criteria should be tested:

  • Aged 16-35 years
  • Has settled in the UK in the last 5 years
  • Has lived in a country where TB is common (list of countries at end of letter), or
  • Has visited one of these countries in the last 6 months

Patients may have had a test for active TB before, but could still be at risk of having latent TB.

How can patients have this blood test?

PLEASE NOTE: Blood tests need to be before 11:00am.

Patients identified will be sent a letter with a blood test form included. This can be taken to one of the following local hospital clinics (no appointment is required):

St Thomas’ Hospital (Ground Floor, South Wing)

Guy’s Hospital (4th Floor, Tower Wing)

What will happen to blood test results?

Blood test results will be returned to the patients’ registered GP surgery, who will make contact to arrange treatment if it is needed.

UKHSA is collecting information from all latent TB blood tests across the country to help them understand more about latent TB and to protect everyone’s health.

Having this test will not affect patients’ status in the UK. The results of this test will not be shared outside of the NHS and will only be used for health care purposes.

Countries with high TB rates

Parts of the world with high rates of TB include:

  • Africa – particularly sub-Saharan Africa (all the African countries south of the Sahara desert) and west Africa
  • south Asia – including India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh
  • Russia
  • China
  • South America
  • the western Pacific region (to the west of the Pacific Ocean) – including Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines 

GOV.UK has detailed information on each country’s TB rates

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