Continuing our campaign to improve the early detection of liver disease: an update for supporters

Posted on: 27th February 2024

The British Liver Trust has recently been disappointed to learn that the Government is no longer committed to providing FibroScans in 100 Community Diagnostic Centres; and that the current round of Community Diagnostic Centres funding allocations is now complete.

However, due to the efforts of our supporters we have been able to open up discussions at a much higher level within the Department of Health and Social Care and have had some positive meetings.

We will continue to urge Government to significantly improve the early detection of liver disease and will be pressing Ministers, and wider policy makers to ensure that they make ambitious investments in liver diagnostics through the Spending Review due to happen later this year, so that we can make the biggest difference to the care and support liver disease and liver cancer patients receive from the NHS. We believe that this is an opportunity to secure funding to rollout Intelligent Liver Function Test across all ICBs and we will be working with supporters, MPs and government to deliver on this opportunity, to make a meaningful improvement to the early detection of liver disease.

In addition, we will be working with the Department of Health to progress a requirement for all Integrated Care Boards (local commissioning bodies) to have a full pathway for the early detection of liver disease, which will include an assessment for fibrosis as well as influencing at a local level within Integrated Care Boards for optimal early detection pathways that meet the specific needs of the regional population.

The British Liver Trust was delighted to see this response to a parliamentary question that we tabled through one of our supportive MPs, Rachel Maskell MP last week:

"Over the coming year, NHS England is due to pilot a new diagnostic pathway for liver disease, which will include fibrosis scanning in community diagnostic centres. The Government looks forward to seeing the results of that pilot."

And we will be following up with Government to find out more about this latest announcement.

Director of Communications and Policy at the British Liver Trust, Vanessa Hebditch, said:

“I would like to personally thank every single supporter who has helped us with this campaign – whether by directly writing to their MP or by raising awareness. I’d also like to reassure you that we will not stop until the early diagnosis of liver disease is part of routine healthcare.

We are optimistic about the recent positive discussions with senior civil servants at the Department of Health that this campaign has unlocked.  These conversations include attempting to secure funding to introduce Intelligent Liver Function Tests in all Integrated Care Boards in England and for it to be mandatory for all Integrated Care Boards to have pathways for the early detection of liver disease.

We will keep supporters updated on developments and will continue to work tirelessly to keep up the pressure on the Department and ensure they deliver on services to improve the early detection of liver disease.”