The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign is set to visit Bedford and Luton on 8 and 9 March.
Bedford has the highest premature death rate from liver disease in the East of England, the highest rate of hospital admissions due to the Hepatitis C virus and the highest number of deaths from obesity related liver disease according to the most recent Public Health England statistics. Sadly, most of these deaths could have been prevented with increased awareness and earlier diagnosis.
Nearby neighbour Luton has the highest number of hospital admissions due to liver disease in the same time period for both men and women, and the highest total number of liver related hospital admissions in the region.
The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign is visiting both towns to help raise awareness of all kinds of liver disease and to offer advice and screening to local people.
Residents and local workers can take part by completing the Trust’s online liver health screening questionnaire, and those people who are found to be at risk of liver disease may have the opportunity to receive a free, non-invasive liver scan.
Everyone can get expert advice on how to keep their liver healthy at a ‘lifestyle hub’ where dietitians and occupation health specialists will be on hand to provide advice on diet, exercise and healthy living.
Funded by the Frank Branston Charitable Trust, the events are free to attend and will be at Bedford Hospital on Wednesday 8 March and at Luton Worship Centre on Thursday 9 March.
Therese Moore, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Viral Hepatitis from Bedford Hospital NHS Trust said:
“We are delighted to be working with the British Liver Trust to raise awareness of the need to look after your liver. This is an excellent opportunity to offer free screening and advice to people here in Bedford and Luton about this very important health issue.”
Andrew Langford, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust, said:
“Liver disease is a silent killer and many people don’t realise that they have a problem until it is too late. I hope as many people will attend our events in Bedford and Luton as possible. If you are unable to attend you can still find out if you are at risk by taking the online screener on our website.”
“The liver is just as vital an organ as the heart, but people often fail to appreciate the importance of keeping it healthy. As part of my work I come across many patients who have suffered serious liver damage not just through obvious alcohol addiction but through regular heavy drinking which has become normal to them.
“I also see people whose liver problems have simply come from being overweight and having a poor diet – that’s why we need to help people understand how to Love Your Liver by making the right lifestyle choices and encouraging anyone who is or has been at risk of damaging their liver to have it checked.”
Liver disease is largely preventable. More than 90% is due to three main risk factors: alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis. The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign focuses on three simple steps to Love Your Liver back to health:
- Drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive days off alcohol every week
- Cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat and take more exercise
- Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk
These simple steps help the liver to keep functioning at its best.
The Trust provides support and detailed information for anyone with, or affected by a liver condition. For more information, or to take the online ‘Love Your Liver’ health screener, visit www.britishlivertrust.org.uk.
Anyone wishing to take advantage of these free events should attend the Committee Room, Bedford Hospital, Kempston Road, Bedford MK42 9DJ between 11:30 and 15:30 on Wednesday 8th March or The Luton Worship Centre, 49 Old Bedford Road, Moorland Gardens, Luton LU2 7NX between 10:00 and 16:00 on Thursday 9th March.