This partnership programme comprises an outreach viral hepatitis clinic embedded with a drug and alcohol treatment centre. Thus it integrates a number of approaches that have shown a substantial increase in testing and treatment of those with a history of injection drug use - a typically hard-to-reach population.
An evidence-based approach combines a community-based treatment service with peer education and workforce development, and in the first year 24 people with hepatitis C have been treated. The clinic was set up fortnightly with a specialist nurse travelling from Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) to see patients referred by Addaction and local GPs. Addaction contacted and encouraged patients to attend prior to the clinic. Patients identified as needing support were given assistance with travel to the BRI for radiological investigations.
Concerns were raised that patients from Weston, a seaside town 30 miles from Bristol, were not able to easily access treatment for viral Hepatitis – so the team needed to provide equality of access to treatment for this disadvantaged patient group. The feeling was that if there was no attempt to treat those patients still using drugs intravenously, the spread of infection would never be reduced.
To increase the number of patients attending the Viral Hepatitis Clinic and being treated. To build links with drug agencies such as Addaction and enlist the help of drug workers to improve patients’ adherence. To improve ease of access to treatment for patients.
Back to the top