Collaborative Tuberculosis Strategy for England 2015-2020

NHS England and Public Health England jointly published the collaborative tuberculosis strategy on 19 January 2015. NHS England has committed £10 million for the establishment of testing for, and treatment of, latent tuberculosis (TB) in new entrants from countries of high TB incidence. Public Health England has committed £1.5 million for the establishment of the national TB office and support teams to the nine TB control boards.

Aims

In 2013, there were 7,290 cases of TB reported in England, an incidence of 13.5 cases per 100,000 of the population. England has the second highest rate of TB among Western European countries and rates are nearly five times higher than in the United States, see press release. The strategy aims to achieve a year-on-year decrease in incidence, a reduction in health inequalities, and ultimately the elimination of TB as a public health problem in England. To achieve these ambitions and deliver significant improvements in TB control, the strategy sets out the improvements that need to be made in ten key areas and the actions that are required to achieve these improvements. The key areas of action are:

  • improving access to services and ensuring early diagnosis
  • providing universal access to high quality diagnostics
  • improving treatment and care services
  • ensuring comprehensive contact tracing
  • improving BCG vaccination uptake
  • reducing drug-resistant TB
  • tackling TB in under-served populations
  • systematically implementing new entrant latent TB screening
  • strengthening surveillance monitoring and;
  • ensuring an appropriate workforce to deliver TB control.

This guidance supports CCGs and NHS England in the implementation of the TB Strategy by recommending actions to take including the identification of lead CCGs, developing local incentives or other models for  GPs  in identifying and testing patients at risk of latent TB, and the development of secondary care treatment services where latent TB  is detected. Details of the plans to be developed in order to access additional funding are given. The guidance also gives clarity on the mutual responsibilities of TB control boards, CCGs and NHS England team and how accountabilities will operate between them in the delivery of the strategy.

We encourage you to seek advice as required from the national programme team as you complete this template.

Please email queries jointly to england.reducingprematuremortality@nhs.net and to tbscreening@phe.gov.uk.

The completed plan should be submitted to the local TB Control Board with a copy to the above email addresses.

This letter sets out the rationale for preferring to have lead CCGs within TB Control Board area to act as single co-ordinating points for the purposes of distributing national resources to support the delivery of the TB strategy. It also highlights the responsibilities of the lead CCGs in their role. It asks CCG Chief Officers and the relevant Control Board director to seek to agree the position in relation to a lead CCG and let NHS England know the outcome by sending it to england.reducingprematuremortality@nhs.net by 7 August 2015.

To help with local implementation a guide has been developed for CCGs, GPs, Health Protection teams and TB services, which offers practical advice and outlines the implications of setting up a LTBI testing programme. It brings together relevant information from NICE guidance, research, and learning from areas that have set up or piloted LTBI case findings.

Latest updates/news

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact us

If you have any queries relating to the above, please email us at england.reducingprematuremortality@nhs.net.