Hepatitis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 23rd January 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department plans to increase the number of Hepatitis C patients who are diagnosed and treated.

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to (a) increase the extent and frequency of testing and (b) improve treatment for Hepatitis C for people who inject drugs .

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Initiatives to increase the number of patients diagnosed with hepatitis C infection (HCV) include raising public and professional awareness, improving case finding, and re-engagement and linkage to care - especially in drug services, primary care, prisons and accident and emergency centres.

NHS England is rolling out an Opt-Out Blood Borne Viruses testing programme; the key aim is to improve uptake rates for hepatitis C testing across the adult prison estate by end of 2017-18.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines are available to help raise awareness of, and testing for, hepatitis C infection in people at increased risk of infection. The guidelines can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph43

A variety of interventions for improved case-finding have been implemented, including home sampling for hepatitis C and improving engagement of diagnosed individuals in primary care (including migrants and people who have ever injected drugs). In addition the feasibility of opt-out testing in accident and emergency services is being explored.

These interventions include non-invasive testing of oral fluid, dried blood spot testing to facilitate uptake.

Mobile find and test services and a scheme offering testing for HCV in people who inject drugs who use pharmacy needle exchange services are being piloted.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.