Blood Borne Virus’ (BBV)
The Public Health England report from 2014 shows;
- Uptake, testing and onward referral of patients affected by Hepatitis C in England remains low. In 2012 only around 3% of those affected by Hepatitis C were treated (Hepatitis C in the UK 2014, Public Health England).
- 214,000 patients were identified in the 2014 report as suffering from long standing chronic problems from Hepatitis C.
- Numbers of patients affected by liver disease, including end stage liver disease (i.e. cirrhosis), are on the rise.
We know it’s important, we act like it’s important; We offer BBV tests and vaccinations to everyone who enters our service!
Substance Misuse Services alongside GP surgeries and Sexual Health Clinics should therefore be one of the key players in testing, identifying and referring patients (Nice Guidance PH43 and Nice Quality Standard 65). They are also best placed to offer Hepatitis A/B Vaccination to their service users.
In an ideal world, we would like to offer on – site treatment (with support form specialist teams) to all clients identified as being affected by Hepatitis B, C, and HIV and appropriately assessed by tertiary centres, in order to shorten and simplify the treatment journey for an already marginalised group of patients
Inclusion recognise and understand the importance of having a simple, accessible BBV process for service user’s. For this reason, every service user presenting at any Inclusion Recovery Hampshire Hub shall be offered testing for blood borne viruses at the beginning of their treatment. This includes-opiate users as well. In view of the risks associated with snorting cocaine, crack use or legal high use (chemical-sex-parties are emerging as high risk behaviours for some groups) they shall be offered the same level of care as the “classic” service user at Community Drug Teams. Service users who have been in treatment for a period of time and “slipped the net” are also encouraged to consider testing and vaccination at any and every opportunity they attend the service.This can be through key work, prescriber review etc. In order to encourage our service user’s to accept this offer of vaccination and testing we provide a full explanation of the benefits of being tested at the earliest opportunity, without “frightening” them out of treatment.
We also have the award winning Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Hepatitis C project across all the hubs in Hampshire (Andover, Aldershot, Eastleigh, Havant, Fareham, New Forest, Winchester).This P2P Hepatitis C Mentoring has been running in partnership with The Hepatitis C Trust since 2012. After extensive training and with regular supervision, mentors deliver talks and presentations to peers and professionals with the aim of increasing awareness and testing for hepatitis C, interspersing volunteers’ own life experiences with key messages, risk factors and treatment options. We offer ongoing support to service users in relation to hepatitis C through taking a holistic approach and are on hand in the hubs for 1:1 or group sessions around blood borne viruses. To find out more click here.