DDN Sept_2022 September 2022 - Page 17

people who aren ’ t willing to attend a clinic on a regular basis .’ Equally , ‘ if people want to spend time with a consultant , they have every right to do so ’. Professor Foster also recommends using peers – people who ’ ve been treated for hepatitis C themselves and often have a history of injecting drugs . He notes that those who work with peers are 12 per cent more likely to come in for treatment than those who don ’ t . 9
REACHING OUT : COMMUNITY PEER PROGRAMME The Hepatitis C Trust ’ s community peer programme , which has now been running for over a decade , shows just how effective working with peers can be . 10 Stuart Smith , director of community services at the Hepatitis C Trust , reflects on the programme ’ s journey to success .
At first , the Hep C Trust ‘ realised it was powerful for a patient to stand up and tell their story ’, Stuart explains . ‘ So , we decided to run peer-led workshops where we ’ d ensure key messages about testing and treatment came through in the patient stories .’ The response to these workshops was overwhelming . Peers said that ‘ people came up to them afterwards wanting to get tested ’.
Between 2019-22 alone , the trust reached over 32,000 people in the community . Peers reach more than 100 people in prisons and communities each day , and since 2019 have helped just under 10,000 people access treatment through the care pathway . 11
MAKING HISTORY All those who attended Hep C Elimination : The Time to Act is Now know there is some way to go to eliminate hepatitis C . However , there was resounding agreement on barriers they all face , especially the need for a clear path between testing and treatment . Thanks to the monumental effort of clinicians , DTSs , patient advocacy groups , industry and public health experts , England is close to elimination . If we follow the example of teams like NHS Tayside and their DTS partners , our 2030 target is within reach .
To find out more about hepatitis C , visit http :// hepctrust . org . uk /
In a previous article on Hepatitis C elimination in our July issue , a photograph was mistakenly labelled ‘ hepatitis C nurse ’. The caption should have read ‘ Hepatitis C Trust peer ’. We are happy to make this correction .
1
UK Health Security Agency , Hepatitis C in England 2022 : full report . Available at : https :// assets . publishing . service . gov . uk / government / uploads / system / uploads / attachment _ data / file / 1057271 / HCV-in-England-2022- full-report . pdf . Last accessed : August 2022
2
World Health Organization , Global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis 2016-2021 . Available at : https :// www . who . int / publications / i / item / WHO-HIV-2016.06 . Last accessed : August 2022
3
NHS England , NHS England ’ s plan to eliminate Hepatitis C decisively backed by High Court . Available at : https :// www . england . nhs . uk / 2019 / 01 / nhsenglands-plan-to-eliminate-hepatitisc-decisively-backed-by-high-court / Last accessed : August 2022
4
Pharmaphorum , NHS trumpets hep C deal , quietly drops 2025 elimination target after legal row . Available at : https :// pharmaphorum . com / news / nhs-trumpets-hep-c-deal-quietlydrops-2025-elimination-target-afterlegal-row / Last accessed : August 2022
5
Peter Smethurst , Stronger together , UK-UNB-2365 . Presentation delivered at Hep C Elimination - The Time to Act is Now on Friday 8 July 2022 .
6
University of Dundee , Professor receives global award for eliminating hepatitis C . Available at : https :// www . dundee . ac . uk / stories / professor-
receives-global-award-eliminating- hepatitis-c . Last accessed : August 2022
7
NHS Tayside , NHS Tayside first region in the world to eliminate hepatitis C . Available at : https :// www . nhstayside . scot . nhs . uk / News / Article / index . htm ? article = PROD _ 339892 . Last accessed : August 2022
8
Professor John Dillon , From national strategy to local action , UK- UNB-2269 . Presentation delivered at Hepatitis C Elimination - The Time to Act is Now on Friday 8 July 2022 .
9
Jugnarain DV et al . Role of peer support in a hepatitis C elimination programme . Available at : https :// onlinelibrary . wiley . com / doi / epdf / 10.1111 / jvh . 13626 . Last accessed : August 2022
10
The Hepatitis C Trust , Leave no one behind . Available at : http :// www . hepctrust . org . uk / sites / default / files / Leave % 20no % 20one % 20behind .% 20 Jan % 202020 % 20report . pdf . Last accessed : August 2022
11
Data courtesy of Rachel Halford , CEO , The Hepatitis C Trust , 2022 .
UK-UNB-2696 Date of preparation : September 2022
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