After many years without BBV screening and a long struggle to persuade clients to attend GP’s for blood tests in Liverpool, a community Hepatitis Nurse agreed to work with us on a client by client basis. We have since formalised our partnership with a care pathway to ensure screening is available to all clients.
A mouth swab training session and care pathway discussion took place in November 2014.We also negotiated 100 free mouth swabs to test for hepatitis C. Those identified as positive would attend their GP for PCR testing. Due to a high number of positive antibody results and the difficulties ensuring clients saw their GP for a PCR blood test, a specialist nurse and GP, arranged clinics offering full BBV screening, which began in May 2015.
We had 50% reactive/ antibody positive from one site and almost 30% reactive/ antibody positive from the second site, with overall 35% positive results. They were then referred for further investigations and management.
The PHE Hepatitis Report (2014) stated that UK Commissioners of BBV prevention services for people who inject drugs need to sustain or expand the current broad range of provision to minimise transmission of hepatitis C. Our mouth swabs and screening clinics have encouraged more service users to participate and enabled those who test positive to get specialist treatment.
Jayne Wilkie, Senior Nurse, Brownlow Medical Practice, Liverpool – firstname.lastname@example.org