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.
For two years, the British Liver Trust's work in Wales has focussed on supporting the delivery 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.
Whilst there has been great progress for patients with liver disease in Wales, there is still a lot of work ahead. The British Liver Trust team in Wales focus our efforts on supporting patients in Wales using localised knowledge and networks.
We are the voice of patients, their families and carers and will lobby for improved outcomes for liver health in the run up to the Welsh Parliament 2021 elections.
We are an active part of the Liver Disease Implementation group working towards improving liver health services in Wales.
The British Liver 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 to further improve patient outcomes.
Working with healthcare professionals in Wales, we run a number of support groups across Wales. Many people in Wales can feel isolated when they are diagnosed, and 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.
Support groups during Covid-19 pandemic
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, all face-to-face support groups run by the British Liver Trust are currently suspended. However we have launched a programme of virtual support groups via the online platform Zoom.
These have been very popular as an alternative to the face-to-face meetings than cannot take place at present. If you would like to attend a virtual group, please follow this link to Virtual support group registration – we look forward to ‘seeing’ you soon!
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 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, health publications and information.
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 of this before they came to the roadshow.
Our Love Your Liver roadshows are currently paused until Covid-19 pandemic has eased, but as soon as we can get out on the road again, you can view the latest roadshow schedule here.