Author: Winwood D

Theme: Models of Care Year: 2019

Prior to the Viral Hepatitis Nurse Specialist (CNS) role being introduced at Walsall hospitals
the consultant and specialist pharmacist, within the hospital setting, undertook treatment
for patients with Hepatitis C (HCV). The introduction of Operational Delivery Networks
overseeing HCV treatment numbers, England signing into the World Health Organisation
plan to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2025 and recognising work in other Trusts, led to a
successful business case for a CNS post.
Description of model of care/intervention:
The CNS increased capacity allows a HVC clinic to be based at the local substance misuse
service. Prior experience of setting up a similar service in a neighbouring Trust was key.
Initial communication with those testing at community service identified numbers testing
positive as compared to numbers attending hospital treatment appointments, were
significantly lower and change was needed. Protocols were written and a clinic has recently
been established one afternoon per week for the CNS. The CNS can directly liaise with
keyworkers, nurses and psychiatrists involved in the clients’ recovery journey and
incorporate their HCV treatment seamlessly into that journey.
The service is very much in it’s infancy however is rapidly gaining interest from clients as well
as other key people involved. Talks between peer mentors and commissioners have proven
successful and trained volunteers will be doing dried blood spot tests to improve numbers
diagnosed. This is directly as a result of the CNS being visible for both advice and support for
those staff and to receive direct referrals.
Conclusion and next steps:
The familiarity of the environment, staff testing and the presence of the CNS, will give
continuity of care for clients who would not have engaged previously. The numbers from
test to successful treatment will be audited and presented to commissioners and future
plans are to increase the HCV treatment clinic availability at the substance misuse service.
Disclose of interest: none

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