Dorset News, Health, Latest News | Posted: Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 at 1:20 pm | return to news

Hopes for saying goodbye to Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C could soon be eliminated in Dorset.

Hazel Allen, Hepatology consultant nurse
Hazel Allen, Hepatology consultant nurse

Hazel Allen, Hepatology consultant nurse and strategic lead for the Dorset Viral Hepatitis Service, is leading an initiative, together with local partners including ‘Hep C U Later’, a project that aims to eliminate Hepatitis C in the community by 2023.  It follows an NHS England announcement in 2018 that the UK would be the first country to achieve elimination.

After securing additional funding, the project has been running ‘pop up’ clinics offering testing in the community and anti-viral treatments that give 95 per cent cure rates (viral eradication) through a course of daily tablets.

The clinics have been targeting a number of homeless individuals who are currently in temporary housing as part of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council’s response to Covid-19. The team had been trying to engage with many of those individuals for a number of years and now they are more stable and motivated, those attending the clinics are keen to have treatment and be cured of the virus.

Hazel said, “We are bringing care to those most affected, with targeted test and treat clinics at suitable locations across the county, including hotels, hostels and supported housing provision where many of our patients are living.

“We have already delivered six clinics that have proved a great success and were very well received by those coming forward for testing. In the first three weeks, we tested 82 individuals, 27 of which we plan to start on curative Hepatitis C treatment in the next two to three weeks.”

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