Congratulations to the nursing team at the Dorset Hepatitis C Elimination Programme who have won this year’s British Journal of Nursing ‘Liver nurse team of the year’. The Liver Nurse Award is supported by the British Liver Trust and the British Liver Nurses Association. The Awards recognise clinical excellence in nursing.
The award was presented at an online ceremony on Monday 8th March 2021 by Rebecca West, Liver Nurse Information Manager at the British Liver Trust.
The team won the award for improving the delivery of care to a hard-to-reach patient group, including the homeless and those temporarily and vulnerably housed. They have overcome many challenges, mobilising quickly, and simplifying processes to eliminate barriers to engagement and treatment.
During Covid 19, the team rapidly adapted their approach and pathways and found innovative new ways to engage, test and treat an increased number of people with chronic hepatitis C in Dorset.
Rebecca West, who leads the British Liver Trust nurse led Helpline and helped judge the awards said: “Hepatitis C is a common form of viral hepatitis and a major cause of liver disease. In the UK, around 118,000 people are chronically infected with the virus.
"Although cases of liver disease in the UK are increasing, hepatitis C is in decline. There is now an effective cure for the virus, and since 2015 its prevalence has fallen by around one third. Congratulations to the Dorset Hepatitis C elimination team for their incredible efforts in supporting the elimination agenda by reaching out to those communities that often don’t engage in healthcare.”
The UK is working hard to reach the World Health Organization target to eliminate hepatitis C – a key challenge is the fact that hepatitis C often has no symptoms in the early stages so the British Liver Trust is calling for anyone who is at risk to be tested.