We are excited to announce that three Change Grow Live services have recently achieved micro-elimination of hepatitis C: West Kent, Reading, and Bromley.
When we say a service has micro eliminated hepatitis C, that means it has reached these targets:
- 100% of people using the service with a history of injecting have been offered a hepatitis C test.
- 100% of people using the service with a history of injecting have been tested.
- 90% of people with a history of injecting and identified as being at risk since their last test have been tested within the last 12 months.
- 75% of people who were diagnosed with hepatitis C have started treatment.
Hitting these targets is a major achievement for each of these services, and for our role in supporting the NHS in its aim to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health concern.
Find out more about their incredible achievements below.
In March 2022, our service in Reading became the first substance misuse service of its size nationally to achieve micro-elimination.
The service’s success was aided by a lot of hard work from Senior Healthcare Assistant Safina Shahin and the whole team, as well as key partnership working with the local hospital, in particular Dean Linzey, and support from Chrissie Guard of the Hep C Trust. The new approach to hepatitis has already been very well received by the people using the service.
Following on from Reading, our service in West Kent also hit the same milestone. This made them the first multi-hub service from all providers in England to reach this major achievement.
Lead Nurse Jo Brown said: “When I heard we’d reached micro-elimination it almost didn’t sink in. Over two years of hard work had come to fruition!
The Tunbridge Wells team
The Maidstone team
The Gravesend team
There are so many elements to this journey, from regular meetings with our colleagues in Gilead, the Hep C Trust and King’s College Hospital, to the support of all our management team, nurses, doctors, administrators, keyworkers, volunteers. Our Senior Data Analyst Sarah Bush also played a huge behind-the-scenes role checking the hepatitis C data month in, month out.
We’re a large service over three sites, so we had to keep momentum going. There is definitely healthy competition between the three hubs, so our Service Manager Clare Begent and I used this to our advantage! We set some in house goals and incentives as well as offering our clients a voucher to be tested.
I remember one of the nursing team saying to me over a year ago ‘I want to be able to say that during my career I played a huge part in the eradication of Hepatitis C, how brilliant would that be?’”
The third of our substance misuse services to achieve micro-elimination was in Bromley. The service has worked closely with the hepatology outreach team at King’s College Hospital in London to make sure that hepatitis C treatment is accessible to everyone who needs it.
Strong leadership by both the Service Manager Lauren Mulligan and the Lead Nurse Maureen Coker has been paramount to Bromley’s success. The team of Recovery Workers have championed this initiative and are in the best position to able to encourage people to complete a test and help people access treatment.
Service Manager Lauren said:
It’s an incredibly proud moment for the Bromley Team. We couldn’t have done it without Maureen, the team and the fabulous David and colleagues from KCH. Maureen is known locally as the BBV Queen and has certainly earned the title! We will definitely continue to test, identify and treat in Bromley and see this as a vital part of someone’s treatment with us.”
All three of these achievements are a celebration of the hard work and dedication of our staff, volunteers and our colleagues in partner agencies. We are immensely proud of each and every one of them – congratulations!
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