Tuberculosis (TB) Service
What we do
The Wirral TB Service provides a community-based service to patients with a diagnosis of TB to facilitate self-management and minimise the need for hospital admission.
We care for the majority of our patients in the community with home visits and support.
The Service also provides education programmes aimed at promoting TB prevention.
Where are we based?
Wirral TB Service is based between Ward 38 and Ward 37 at Arrowe Park Hospital.
Wirral TB Service Team
Senior TB specialist nurse Lesley Brogelli.
Dr Nikki Stevenson Respiratory Consultant.
Hours of operation
Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm
How to contact us
Tel: 0151 604 7224
Mob: 07787 004902
Internal ext: 2548
Fax: 0151 604 7119
What is Tuberculosis (TB)?
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB primarily affects the lungs, but it can also affect any other organ or part of the body.
There are two types of TB. Active TB and Latent TB.
A person with ACTIVE TB will:
- Feel ill
- Have symptoms that may include:
- A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
- Pain in the chest
- Coughing up blood or sputum
- Weakness or fatigue
- Weight loss
- No appetite
- Sweating at night
- May spread TB to others.
- Usually has a positive skin test.
- May have an abnormal chest x-ray, or positive sputum smear or culture.
A person with LATENT TB will:
- Not feel ill
- Cannot spread TB to others
- Usually has a positive skin test
- Has a normal chest x-ray and sputum test.
The most common type of TB is in the lungs, known as pulmonary TB. Only TB of the lungs or throat can be infectious. TB can affect any part of the body including kidneys, brain or bones. This is called non-pulmonary TB – and is not infectious.
How is TB contracted
People get TB when they breathe in the TB bacteria, which are spread through the air. But most people won’t get ill because:
- TB bacteria are only in the air after someone with infectious TB coughs or sneezes.
- You need to spend many hours close to a person with infectious TB to breathe in enough bacteria to be at risk.
- Most people's immune systems are strong enough to kill off TB bacteria.
You can not get TB by:
- Shaking someone's hand
- Sharing food or drink
- Touching bed linens or toilet seats
- Sharing toothbrushes
There are two kinds of tests that are used to determine if a person has been infected with TB bacteria: the tuberculin skin test (Mantoux) and TB blood tests (T-Spot).
A positive TB skin test or TB blood test only tells that a person has been infected with TB bacteria. It does not tell whether the person has latent TB or active TB. Other tests, such as a chest x-ray and a sample of sputum, are needed to see whether the person has TB.
What happens at the clinic
The Wirral TB Service is led by the Senior TB specialist nurse Lesley Brogelli. The TB service work closely with the Respiratory Consultants and we specialise in caring and treating people with TB and preventing its spread. Our service is used by children and adults on the Wirral with suspected or confirmed TB.
- Support during and after the investigation and diagnostic process
- Health promotion and advice to patients, carers and healthcare professionals.
- Raise awareness of TB with healthcare professional and community groups.
- BCG vaccination (please see referral criteria)
We provide screening for patients who are:
- Close contacts of someone with TB
- New entrants to the UK from counties of high incidence
- Occupation Health
- HIV positive
- Immunocompromised or undertaking immunosuppressive therapy
We provide this service in hospital either as an inpatient, outpatient in clinic or with home visits. All newly diagnosed patients need to be seen so we can identify people who may have been in close contact with them and arrange TB screening.
How to use the service
The TB service accepts referrals from any source, please use the referral form found below, or telephone the office number on the left to speak to a member of the team.
TB service Referral Form, Modified: 13/10/2021 3:19PM | Download: TB service Referral Form