Hepatitis: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 23rd October 2019.

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Photo of Jonathan Lord Jonathan Lord Conservative, Woking

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve detection rates of (a) hepatitis B and (b) hepatitis C.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Public Health England’s (PHE’s) multi-agency National Strategic Group on Viral Hepatitis is committed to working towards the World Health Organization goal to eliminate viral hepatitis as a major public health threat by 2030.

NHS England routinely screen pregnant women for hepatitis B and have also implemented opt-out blood-borne virus testing across prisons. This can be viewed at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/infectious-diseases-in-pregnancy-screening-clinical-guidance#idps-programme-guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/improving-testing-rates-for-blood-borne-viruses-in-prisons-and-other-secure-settings

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published guidance on increasing testing available treatment for hepatitis B and C at the following link:

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

PHE has published evidence reviews, co-produced educational modules, developed health promotional materials on hepatitis B and C infection and launched a hepatitis C patient re-engagement exercise at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hepatitis-c-interventions-for-case-finding-and-linkage-to-care

https://elearning.rcgp.org.uk/course/info.php?popup=0&id=175

https://publichealthengland-immunisati.app.box.com/s/iptxtlziu57evyejw8zgvhimh0pjwa05

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hepatitis-c-patient-re-engagement-exercise

In 2019, NHS England made additional resources available to increase hepatitis C case finding and treatment which include: peer to peer support programmes and an incentivised payment model to engage and encourage testing people in high risks groups, and intensive test and treat programmes in prisons settings.

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