The Leeds TB service

The Team

Dr John Watson  (Consultant Respiratory Physician)

Dr Paul Whitaker  (Consultant Respiratory Physician)

Dr Hugh McGann  (Consultant in Infectious Diseases)

Dr Sean O’Riordan  (Consultant Paediatrician)

Toby Capstick  (Lead Respiratory Pharmacist)

Cathy Mullarkey  (Senior TB Heath Visitor, Leeds Community Healthcare)

Jacqui McGuigan  (TB Health Visitor, Leeds Community Healthcare)

Jayne Burnett  (TB Health Visitor, Leeds Community Healthcare)

Dr Tim Collyns  (Consultant Microbiologist)

Dr Mike Gent  (Consultant in Communicable Disease Control, Public Health England)

What is Tuberculosis (TB)?

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by infection with TB bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis). More information about the condition can be found here >>. Answers to many common questions about TB can be found here >>

Outpatient Service

The Leeds Tuberculosis Clinic is held weekly on Thursday mornings at Leeds Chest Clinic at the Leeds General Infirmary.

We offer an integrated service including diagnosis and treatment of active Tuberculosis and Latent Tuberculosis Infection, and screening for people who have been in contact with tuberculosis.

We aim to provide holistic care for patients and their families, with support in the clinic from the specialist TB Health Visitor team, and adult and paediatric services running together so parents, children, and other family members needing contact screening can usually be seen in the same visit. TB drugs are supplied directly within the clinic by a specialist pharmacist.

New patients with suspected pulmonary TB are usually seen within one week of referral, and extra pulmonary TB within 2 weeks.

Home Support

The TB Health visitor team provide on-going support to patients and their families. They can help with concerns about medication including support for completing the course (with Directly Observed Therapy when necessary) and possible side effects. Their contact telephone number is available for any concerns, and messages may be left out of hours. : 0113 3922148

Further information about the TB Health Visitors is available here >>

In Patient Service

The majority of TB patients can be successfully treated as outpatients, but when hospital admission is necessary care is provided in the Respiratory Medicine or Infectious Diseases wards at St James’s University Hospital. 4 Negative pressure isolation rooms are available for drug resistant TB or others who may be highly infectious.

Further information about the TB Health Visitors is available here >>

Diagnostic services

Bronchoscopy, Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS), CT and ultrasound guided biopsy facilities are available for diagnostic sampling

Full laboratory services including microscopy, culture for tuberculosis, interferon gamma release assays (QuantiFERON TB Gold and T.Spot TB), rapid molecular testing for mycobacteria and for drug resistance, and piloting whole genome sequencing. Sensitivity testing is carried out in the reference laboratory in Newcastle.

Specialist Services

TB – HIV co-infection

Children with TB

Directly Observed Therapy

Multi Drug resistant TB –

  • Members of our team are on the British Thoracic Society MDR TB advice service panel
  • Access to new drugs for MDR TB including bedaquiline and delaminid

Multidisciplinary Team

There is a weekly meeting for the whole team including microbiology, pharmacy and public health when all new TB cases and any complex or difficult cases are discussed and plans agreed.

New Entrant Screening

Leeds has pioneered the development of a screening programme for new arrivals from high TB incidence countries (see here >> for list of countries).

Information about this service is available here >>.

TB numbers in Leeds have been falling since this service was started in 2008. Our programme has been adopted as a model for the 2015 National Strategy for Tuberculosis adopted by NHS England and Public Health England. Initial screening is carried out in a community based clinic by the TB Health Visitor team, and those requiring further investigation or treatment are referred to the TB clinic. The screening service continues to develop with the implementation of the National Strategy.


As a specialist service in a teaching hospital, the Leeds TB service provides training and experience to higher specialist trainees in Respiratory Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Paediatrics, as well as junior trainees in public health. We regularly contribute to the teaching of medical and nursing students.

Audit and Clinical Governance

We aim to provide an outstanding service and are continually looking to improve. We undertake quarterly cohort review (with our colleagues in the neighbouring Bradford TB service), regular audits of aspects of the service, and annual mortality review.


We have undertaken and contributed to a number of research studies into areas including new entrant screening, multidrug resistant TB, and TB drug reactions.


Martin Wing,
Leeds General Infirmary,
Great George Street,
Leeds LS1 3EX