Hep C U Later an NHS APA system wide partnership approach to eliminating Hepatitis C
The NHS Addiction Provider’s Alliance (NHS APA) is an alliance of 15 NHS Trusts that provide substance misuse services (SMS) across England. Their reach extends to over 30,000 current and previous drug injectors across community drug service with contracts aligning with 17 of the 22 ODNs. NHS APA members provide SMS services to approximately 35% of all drug and alcohol service users engaged in the English treatment system with strong links between providers. 2019 Public Health England Unlinked Anonymous Survey of People Who Inject Drugs data shows there is no indication of a reduction in the number of new HCV infections over recent years, including those who have recently started injecting. By forming a system-wide partnership to address and eliminate hepatitis C (HCV) we have driven the implementation of the innovation necessary to better address the needs of this patient cohort and can support more than 6,000 additional patients into care.
By working in partnership we can increase substance misuse services staff awareness and training ensuring each service has an effective HCV treatment pathway. We have highlighted the need for testing/retesting and supported services to access novel ways of doing this, including consistent disease notification to Public Health England. Through this network we increase engagement from the NHS and encourage adoption of best practice pathways where providers work with third sector partners. Data is collected monthly to assess effectiveness.
Hep C U Later has an innovation fund and services are starting to initiate projects. Communication between partners has accelerated and strong system-wide partnerships have been formed.
Data completeness exercises have taken place and results are being collated. During COVID pandemic we have adapted the way we work and taken care into the community through ‘pop up’ style Hepatology clinics. Preliminary data has shown that over 200 patients have been linked into hepatitis C treatment
Early indications illustrate the effective communication between partners and that a solid system-wide partnership will enable us to eliminate HCV across not only NHS APA services but our 3rd sector partners as well.
You can also read the full Tackling-health-inequalities-with-people-who-have-experience-of-rough-sleeping-in-the-SW-during-the-2020-COVID-19-Pandemic-due-out-soon document.