Liver Diseases: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 25th February 2021.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve the early diagnosis of liver disease.

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

The NHS Health Check and NHS Standard Contract support early diagnosis of liver disease by assessing the alcohol consumption of service users using a validated tool such as the alcohol use disorders identification test and where appropriate, offering brief advice or interventions.

Alcohol care teams in the areas with the highest rates of alcohol dependence-related admissions have been set up to improve the care pathway, including the use of appropriate diagnostics, for patients and their families who have issues with alcohol dependence. NHS England is supporting a programme to identify people with hepatitis C infection at an early stage to avoid subsequent liver disease.

In 2019 to 2020, Public Health England awarded £6 million capital funding to 23 local authorities to support nine areas to purchase Fibroscan machines to increase early detection of fibrosis/cirrhosis and access to treatment for those with alcohol-related liver disease.

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