Over the last year Hep C U Later continued to work tirelessly to reach their main objective of hepatitis C micro-elimination across the NHS Addictions Provider Alliance (NHSAPA) drug and alcohol services.
What have we achieved?
Our national NHSAPA members have demonstrated their commitment through their continued engagement, innovation, and sharing of resources.
We continue to work with partners at the Hepatitis C Trust, Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs), NHSE HCV Elimination team, UKHSA and many others. Each have played a vital role in supporting the success of our project and our shared goals.
Our joint working agreement with Gilead Sciences has allowed us to expand our team to further support testing, data and education. The Gilead Sciences led national Hepatitis C Drug Treatment Service Provider Forum (DTS Forum) has enabled us to collaborate on work that improves hepatitis C interventions, such as the Hepatitis C Micro-Elimination Criteria, BBV Standards and campaigns.
The expansion of our data team has led to us further developing the data dashboard, building in processes which support focused testing, and resolve system issues/data anomalies.
Testing and treatment:
Our Impact Report from April 2021-March 2022 showed that testing across NHSAPA services doubled from the previous year.
The NHSAPA have continued to work with their partners within ODNs and Hepatology to improve the treatment pathway, with some services innovating to reduce barriers to treatment.
Inclusion Thurrock achieved micro-elimination in July 2022. The NHSAPA services continue to move closer to reaching the micro-elimination criteria with many having very few people left to be tested and treated. Micro-elimination is entirely within reach.
Educations and awareness:
The Hep C U Later team ran national webinars and practitioner’s forums from 2021-2022.
The additional funding provided by Gilead Sciences in years 4 and 5 also allowed us to employ a training and development coordinator who has been instrumental in delivering bespoke hepatitis C training, Cepheid GeneXpert training and supporting testing events up and down the country.
Hep C U Later presented at multiple conferences in 2022 and we have been shortlisted for many awards with our partners (HSJ and UKPHR) which is a recognition of our collective achievements so far.
Social media campaign, engagement and communication:
Our Facebook following continues to grow, our Twitter following has more than doubled, and we have seen increased engagement with the content on our website.
What are our hopes for 2023?
We have a great year planned, starting with launching the NHSAPA Love Yourself Get Tested Roadshow. We will release resources, continue the practitioner’s forum and complete work to improve harm reduction.
Inclusion (part of Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) have been commissioned by NHSE to provide an additional Hep C U Later initiative around engagement and communications amongst key professional groups. As part of this our website will be improved with new resources in 2023.
The documents referenced in this blog can be found HERE