RCGP announces Liver Disease as a clinical priority

Posted on: 3rd June 2016

The Royal College of GPs has announced today that Liver disease will be a clinical priority starting this year and running until 2019. During this period, the College will be supporting GPs and healthcare professionals in delivering quality care to patients suffering from this disease.

Liver disease has been announced as a clinical priority for the Royal College of GPs, as part of a programme of work running from 2016-2019 aiming to support GPs and primary care professionals in identifying and delivering care to patients with liver disease.

Liver disease is the third most common cause of premature death in the UK, with some of the highest rates in Western Europe, and mortality rates increasing 400% since 1970. It is also a disease that affects the poorest and most vulnerable in society most, making it a major issue in efforts to tackle health inequalities.
Vanessa Hebditch, Director of Communications and Policy at the British Liver Trust, said: “We know that approximately three quarters of people with cirrhosis of the liver are not detected until they present to hospital with end-stage liver disease. By this time morbidity and mortality are high and the scope for intervention is substantially reduced.

“The British Liver Trust is delighted that liver disease has been chosen as a clinical priority and we look forward to working in partnership with the College. This is an exciting opportunity for us to improve awareness and knowledge of liver disease and the imperative role that primary care has to play in the early detection and ongoing management of liver disease.“

Dr Jez Thomson, who has been appointed as the College’s Clinical Champion for Liver Disease, has a long-standing interest in the clinical area, with a focus on improving best practice for chronic viral hepatitis diagnosis and treatment. 

“I’m very happy to be working in partnership with the College and the British Liver Trust in this clinical priority. Raising primary care awareness of liver disease as a major though often preventable cause of morbidity and mortality; working towards improving early diagnosis of liver disease; and supporting the development of effective clinical responses to the modifiable risk factors and causes of progressive liver damage will be among the important goals of the role.”

Find out more about the RCGP’s Clinical Priorities Programme here