MPs invited to get their livers checked in Parliament during Love Your Liver Awareness Month
The nation’s leading liver charity will take its message on the importance of liver health to Westminster today. The British Liver Trust, organisers of Love Your Liver Awareness Month, will set up liver screening in Parliament to put a spotlight on the UK’s liver disease epidemic.
The drop-in day clinic has been organised by the British Liver Trust in conjunction with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Liver Disease and Liver Cancer. During the day, MPs will have the opportunity to have a non-invasive liver scan, which measures the stiffness of the liver, and find out about the charity’s work to improve early diagnosis of liver disease and liver cancer.
Liver disease is the third leading cause of deaths under the age of 75 and mortality rates have doubled in the last two decades.
One of the sponsors of the event, Steve Brine MP, who is Chair of the Health Select Committee, said: “Today’s check your liver health ‘clinic’ is a great way for MPs to have a liver scan and to hear more about liver disease and liver cancer.
“The alarming rise is liver disease cases is directly linked to liver cancer, which is now fastest rising cause of cancer death in the UK as 8 in 10 people with HCC, the most common primary liver cancer, have underlying cirrhosis.
“By prioritising the nation’s liver health and improving early diagnosis of liver disease, we can tackle this public health crisis.”
The event is also sponsored by Wayne David MP, Flick Drummond MP, Margaret Ferrier MP, Gerald Jones MP and Alison Thewliss MP.
Wayne David MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Liver Disease and Liver Cancer, says: “The number of people dying from liver disease has been increasing at an alarming rate with a 21% increase in the first year of Covid.
“There is also a huge variation in patient care and outcomes throughout the UK and this is why the APPG on Liver Disease and Liver Cancer is advocating for government to address this variation and support our policy calls, which includes their commitment to a full review of adult liver services.”
“Today is a great opportunity for colleagues to learn more about the British Liver Trust’s campaigns and support their work. Their research show shat only 26% of areas have an effective pathway for the early detection of liver disease. Yet 90% of liver disease is preventable and if caught at an early stage, liver damage can often be reversed. At the moment, the alarming reality is that three-quarters of people diagnosed with cirrhosis are found when it is too late for effective intervention or treatment. One in four people diagnosed with liver disease late in hospital sadly die within a couple of months.
Pamela Healy OBE, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust, says: “We are delighted to be hosting this event during Love Your Liver Awareness Month, which is devoted to liver health awareness and motivating people to take steps to keep their liver healthy.
“Liver disease is a barometer for the nation’s health – we need to improve prevention, early diagnosis and patient care if we are going to meaningfully start reducing liver disease deaths and it’s increase prevalence in the population.”
The British Liver Trust is campaigning for all health bodies across the UK to have full patient pathways for the early detection of liver disease in place and calling on MPs to support this campaign with their constituency health body.
If you are worried about whether you are at risk of liver disease, the British Liver Trust has a free screener on their website www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/screener