Delivery of TB testing remains a vitally important part of the service offered to our clients; we have a dedicated TB Team of seven vets in Whitchurch and three vets in Lancs delivering testing four days a week.
We are pleased to announce the recent addition of three new team members: Emilio Martinez, Megan Thorpe and Lilli Fox. They have joined us as trainee Approved Tuberculin Testers (ATTs) as part of a closely controlled national DEFRA pilot. This pilot is looking at using closely supervised non-vets to deliver TB testing. Emilio and Megan will be working in Whitchurch and Preston and Lilli will be covering Bakewell.
Our ATTs will be fully trained under close supervision from senior vets. Once testing, they will be rigorously monitored to ensure that we continue to deliver TB testing to the highest standards.
As some of you will know, our TB field teams in Preston and Whitchurch are supported by our TB Admin Teams. They do an amazing job arranging over 700 TB tests each year (in Whitchurch) with very few hiccups. This means that every working day of the year they juggle the diary to slot in three new tests.
What’s the process?
This process begins with the allocation of your TB test to us by APHA via the regional Delivery Partner. This allocation will tell us what type of test you are due. This includes any special instructions (e.g. standard/severe interpretation) and also when your window opens and closes.
Your TB test will be given a unique identification number that follows it all the way through to submission. Our admin team then has to look at the work diary to identify a suitable date and time to slot your TB test into the never-ending “jigsaw” of TB testing. Once this is done, they will phone you to agree this date and time. Following up the call with a letter confirming the date and time of the appointment. You will also receive a Test Notification letter directly from APHA.
It is vitally important that you read this letter and make sure that the date of your appointment is within your testing window. Equally if you receive a Test Notification letter from APHA but have not heard from the practice, it is important that you contact your TB Admin Team as soon as possible to arrange your TB test. Very occasionally a TB test fails to get correctly allocated to us by APHA.
Whilst we endeavour to do as much as possible to arrange your TB test on your behalf, ultimate responsibility rests with you to arrange your test. We also ask that you carefully read your confirmation letter to make sure that all of the details are correct. For example, you are happy that the TB test will be completed before your testing window closes. If you identify any problems, please call your TB Admin Team immediately. They will be happy to help you solve them.
We are also introducing a farmer declaration on our job bags to be signed at the end of the test. Recent changes to APHA procedure have meant that every single animal on CTS for your holding must be accounted for and every non-tested animal is now investigated centrally. This has led to a significant increase in unnecessary paperwork for our TB Team. This could be avoided by spending a few minutes at the TB test making sure that the paperwork is correct. As a result, we shall be asking you to confirm that you agree with the identities of the animals presented for testing and also the reasons why non-tested animals weren’t tested.
Unfortunately TB is not going away in the near future. But by testing your animals both effectively and efficiently we can either help maintain your TB free status or help clear your herd of the disease as quickly as possible. In addition to that we can also offer TB advice to any herd in England via the TB Advisory Service. In Wales this is via the Cymorth TB and “Keep it Out” visits. If you would like to know more about any of these services please give your TB Admin Team a call.