The Trust developed a bespoke outreach fibroscan and testing service for the assessment of Hepatitis C and liver disease. It is a quick, painless and non-invasive examination used to assess liver stiffness, taking between 10 to 15 minutes.
The results are immediate, allowing assessment of underlying stiffness, counselling, health education and the ongoing monitoring of improvement or progression of disease. The Liver Treatment Unit at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust at St Mary’s Hospital has substantial resources and an expert team which manages and cares for all forms of liver disease - and currently performs one of the largest nurse-led assessment clinics in London, reducing the need for liver biopsies. The aim is to utilise the skills and experience gained in order to expand the service to more diverse settings.
The hepatitis C outreach services were initiated in April 2012 at North Westminster Drug & Alcohol service (NWDAS) under the umbrella of the PREVENT Project (PREvention of Blood borne Viruses through education, clinical networks, testing and treatment in substance misusing populations). LTU were providing hepatitis C treatment at NWDAS - but clients had to attend St Mary’s Hospital for the fibroscan before they started the medication. In order to bridge the gap, the first outreach fibroscan session was held at NWDAS on 16 April 2014.
To enable clients to access to diagnostic equipment and specialist assessment in an environment in which they felt safe, while enhancing the CNWL and St Mungo’s staff to support clients within their own environment - thereby improving the treatment journey and client experience since clients could be assessed for fibrosis or cirrhosis without the need for a liver biopsy. To provide a seamless pathway from diagnosis to treatment or monitoring of liver disease.
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