Tuberculosis patient information
Find out what to expect when you come to hospital for your appointment.
Before your appointment
You will be seen two weeks from your referral. You are welcome to bring a relative, close friend or carer with you to your appointment. Children and young people should be accompanied by a parent, guardian or carer.
Please wear loose comfortable clothing for your appointment as you will likely have your upper arms examined for vaccination scars and may need to have your lungs and heart examined.
If you have been referred with a productive cough, please ask your GP surgery for a sputum pot and bring a fresh sputum sample with you to your appointment (i.e. phlegm coughed up on the day of your appointment).
In addition, it would be helpful if you could bring the following:
- your full address and telephone number(s)
- your appointment card and appointment letter
- a list of your medications
- your GP’s name and address
- a list of questions you may want to ask
During your appointment
All patients must check in on arrival. We try to stick to the appointment times, but some patients need longer consultations than others and many of our patients have complex illnesses and other testing performed which can cause delays. We will keep you informed of delays.
Some patients need to see a nurse after the appointment with the doctor, they may need to go to another department for tests and to get a prescription. It is advisable to plan to be at the hospital for about three hours.
Please note that we are a teaching hospital, so medical students may be present for some appointments. If you do not wish to have them in the room please let the nurse or doctor know and the students will be asked to step outside.
Patients suspected of having TB will be reviewed by a specialist doctor or nurse and may be asked to wear a face mask at the hospital. This is a precautionary measure and the nurse will explain what you need to do. Please do not be alarmed by this precaution.
When you attend the TB testing clinic you may have a TB skin test, blood test and chest x-ray. Patients attending the doctor's clinic may require more detailed scans of the chest, breathing tests and sometimes we also look into the lungs with a small camera (bronchoscopy) to investigate coughing or bleeding. The doctor will discuss whether these tests are necessary and you will get an appointment to for these at a later date
After your appointment
At the end of your consultation, the clinician will usually let you know if you require a follow up appointment. A letter is usually sent to your GP which summarises your consultation and plan of care. You will receive a copy of this letter. You can expect to hear about most results at your follow-up appointment but sometimes the clinician will arrange to let you know by telephone.
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