East Surrey partners come together to support successful TB screening event

Great collaboration between East Surrey Place partners and Surrey County Council led to a very successful community tuberculosis (TB) screening event in Redhill recently.  

GP Federation Alliance for Better Care (ABC) was approached by Surrey County Council’s Public Health team who had identified Redhill as an area with a high number of TB cases within the homeless community, and readily agreed to take part, and to broaden the event by offering health checks. 

Active case finding is part of a national strategy to find cases of active TB early and support patients to take a full course of treatment and get cured.   ABC supported Public Health to set up the event, the first of its kind in Surrey. They worked with homeless charity Renewed Hope who offered their venue for the event, and  also funded free hot meals and taxi rides for attendees.  

First Community’s Health Inclusion team was also involved in the project, to invite members of the travelling community to attend,  and Reigate and Banstead Borough Council’s Housing Team promoted the event to local people in temporary accommodation.  

On the day, 37 people came along to be screened for TB (no active cases were found) and 18 health care checks were done as well, plus four people were registered with their local GP practice.

The screening was undertaken by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Find and Treat Service which provided a mobile x-ray unit and a specialist outreach team.    

“The community TB screening event at Redhill was a great success,” said Qanita Vora, Surrey County Council Public Health Programme Lead. “Thank you to everyone who helped organise the day, and to everyone who attended. A special mention to Renewed Hope for hosting the event and for their hospitality. We really appreciate the support of all the partners within East Surrey Place - without it we couldn’t have achieved such a great result.  

“Aside from the screening, it was a great opportunity and a pleasure to meet, raise awareness of TB and network with professionals from across East Surrey Place and to be able to support this community.”   Added Eva Bangova, Equity Development Manager for Alliance for Better Care:

“This event demonstrated great collaboration between our partners. Uptake is always improved when trusted partners come together to invite people to attend and then support them on the day. It was a pleasure to take part and we completed 18 health checks, which is our highest number ever. We’re keen to offer more services in the future that are specifically tailored for our most vulnerable cohorts in Surrey, build trusting relationships and narrowing the ever-growing health care gap of inequalities. This will be only achieved by working with voluntary sector and people with lived experiences.”