The Department is currently supporting the following measures to establish effective measures to increase early detection of liver disease and raise awareness about hepatitis:
NHS Liver Care provides a virtual working platform for national and local healthcare professionals involved in the planning and delivery of liver services, including the early detection of liver disease; and this year is facilitating liver disease workshops across England.
In Plymouth, nurses will provide community based assessment of patients with potential liver disease. Also an outreach worker will be testing a model to reduce admissions and readmissions to patients presenting to secondary care with alcohol related problems,
In Nottingham and Hull, general practitioners (GPs) are receiving additional training in the investigation of patients with abnormal liver function test and early detection of patients with fatty liver disease and obesity.
In Liverpool, the historical patterns of referrals for suspected liver disease are being reviewed, and a new commissioning approach for liver disease services is being tested which can be used as a template for local implementation.
The British Liver Trust (BLT) is developing a pre-clinical service based on a preliminary, medical information guided risk assessment provided via a helpline to individuals who identify themselves to BLT and who BLT assesses as being at risk of liver disease; and will advice on ‘healthy liver' lifestyle choices.
In Leeds, work is in hand to local protocols to improve the cost effectiveness of patient care for liver disease patients; improve referrals; and enable earlier diagnosis.
The Pharmaceutical and Hepatology Initiative Project will develop simple key messages for healthcare professionals about liver disease and its management, which will be action orientated and could be delivered in primary care across the country.
The Hepatitis C Trust is working to improve access increase to hepatitis C testing in partnership with local national health service organisations through community pharmacies and an outreach mobile information and testing service.
The Royal College of General Practitioners is working to produce an educational resource for GPs and other healthcare professionals in primary care, involving online and face-to-face learning, intended to assist in increasing the detection, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B and C in groups at risk of infection.
There are dedicated hepatitis C websites for the general public, South Asian communities and healthcare professionals. Information on hepatitis B and C is also available on NHS Choices. In addition, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is currently developing public health guidance on promoting and offering testing for hepatitis B or hepatitis C for those .at increased risk of infection. Draft guidance was published for consultation on