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:
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.