Patients with underlying liver problems are at risk of getting liver cancer (hepatocellular cancer (HCC)). These patients are recommended to have an ultrasound scan of their liver every 6 months to try and pick-up HCC early, when it may be cured. Currently only 30% of at-risk patients attend regular appointments. There is no national HCC surveillance programme.
The aim of this work that is led by Dr Rohini Sharma at Imperial College is to see if surveillance attendance could be improved by giving patients and carers information regarding about the importance of regular scans and create a call/recall system of all at-risk individuals from which automatic reminders can be generated.
The British Liver Trust reviewed all of the materials for this project and held focus groups to assess suitability of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews to assist with the development of the education programme.
As a result of this research, a new postcard tool was created that has been adopted by NHS England and the British Liver Trust. This will be used in a clinic setting to encourage people to attend their ultrasound appointments. The British Liver Trust is also creating a new animation using the insight gained.