Our work in Wales
Premature deaths from chronic liver disease in Wales have more than doubled in the last 20 years. While there have been improvements in mortality from most other chronic disorders, such as stroke, heart disease, and many cancers, the number of deaths from liver disease has increased by more than 400% in people aged under 65.
The British Liver Trust has been funded until December 2019 to raise awareness and improve liver health in Wales. This is part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Together for Health: Liver Disease Delivery plan 2015 – 2020’, which aims to improve activity and health outcomes across six key areas:
- Preventing liver disease and promoting liver health
- Timely detection of liver disease
- Fast and effective care for those diagnosed with liver disease
- Living with liver disease
- Improving information on all liver conditions
- Research into liver disease.
In Wales we will support this by promoting liver health and highlighting the risk factors most often associated with liver disease to primary healthcare professionals and amongst the general public.
We are an active part of the Liver Disease Implementation group working towards improving liver health services in Wales. Plans are currently being developed for an all Wales liver function test pathway, which will direct patients to FibroScan services within a community hospital or participating practice as part of a GP cluster.
The aim is to detect liver deterioration much earlier, prevent liver disease worsening and give patients the best possible care and support’
The Trust has campaigned for and supported the development of a new Liver disease Registry. The Wales Liver Registry will collect important data so that scientists, researchers and clinicians truly understand the burden of liver disease in Wales and can effectively plan services and undertake research.
Working with healthcare professionals in Wales, we aim to set up support groups across Wales. Many people in Wales can feel isolated when they are diagnosed, support groups enable people to meet others who understand how it feels to be affected by a liver condition and receive information and advice form experts who attend the group meetings.
The team in Wales is raising awareness across the region by holding patient and healthcare events, speaking at conferences and distributing British Liver Trust materials.
Our work with healthcare professionals
We are joining up existing services and providing support for liver patients where none existed before. Over the last three years we have created a ‘community of support’ for liver patients by working with hepatologists and liver nurses in liver units across Wales.
Our patient information publications are widely used by clinicians across the country, and in partnership with the RCGP, we have produced a toolkit to support GPs in their quest for early diagnosis of liver disease in a primary care setting.
GPs across Wales can access the toolkit here: RCGP toolkit
Wales Love Your Liver Roadshow and community events
Each year, we deliver a public awareness roadshow, touring Wales in our mobile unit.
We take our Mobile Scanning Unit to locations across Wales, offering members of the public a liver health screener, a free liver scan, a consultation with a liver expert, and free health publications.
Love Your Liver events screen and scan around 100 people a day, and typically 17%-20% of people have indications of liver damage, and were unaware. The campaign reaches thousands through the media, and also raises the profile of our patient support services. All Love Your Liver events are supported by liver consultants and nurses from local hospitals.
Check the latest roadshow schedule here.