A new online learning resource on tuberculosis has been launched in response to an increase in incidences of the often fatal disease.
Suitable for practice nurses, nurse practitioners and GPs, the training provides knowledge they need to make swift and appropriate referrals of suspected TB cases to specialist services.
The course also supports primary care professionals to work alongside TB services to care for patients through their treatment lasting a minimum of six months. It consists of two 30 minute modules, completion of which can be counted towards continuous professional development.
The primary care awareness materials are part of TB Alert’s The Truth About TB awareness raising work and are funded by the Department of Health and supported by the Health Protection Agencyand the Royal College of GPs. The programme aims to raise public and professional awareness of TB in response to a rise in rates of TB over the last 25 years. In 2011, the Health Protection Agency reported 8,963 cases of TB – more new diagnoses than of HIV.
Meanwhile, cases of multi-drug resistant TB increased by 26% in the UK between 2010 and 2011. Treatment for multi-drug resistant TB is less effective, more toxic and more expensive.
TB Alert has also produced an additional resource for use by TB specialist nurses in educating primary care colleagues. The pack includes a comprehensive presentation on TB and detailed speakers notes as well as materials for practices such as multi-lingual symptoms posters for practice waiting rooms.
Chief executive of TB Alert Mike Mandelbaum said: “These resources complement our awareness raising among communities most vulnerable to TB. Together, these two areas of activity can reduce delayed presentation by patients, and minimise delayed diagnosis by GPs. This will result in less onward infection.”