Sound the Alarm on liver disease

Liver disease is a public health emergency.  It is diagnosed too late and is the biggest killer of 35 to 49 year olds.  

We need to act now to save lives and this is what underpins our Sound the Alarm campaign.  

We are calling on the government to implement 10 key changes that will directly impact outcomes for patients, ensuring that more people are diagnosed with liver disease or liver cancer at an earlier stage and ensure that improvements are made to the support, specialist care and treatment available to patients following diagnosis.

The campaign has been backed by some of the top liver specialists in the UK, including The British Association for the Study of Liver Disease, the British Society of Gastroenterologists and Foundation for Liver Research.

Around a quarter of patients diagnosed in hospital die within 60 days in England and Wales. This has to stop.

ThGraphe UK is facing a liver disease epidemic and unless we act now more people will die. Since 1970, deaths due to liver disease have increased by an alarming 400%. This is in stark contrast to other major killer diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, in which the number of deaths have either remained stable or decreased. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this problem with an increase in liver disease diagnoses with a marked increase in people with diagnosed in hospital.

Provision and delivery of liver care services across the UK is variable, and this makes a major contribution to the marked differences in survival.

In addition, there is a lack of awareness of the seriousness and prevalence of liver disease together with the stigma that often surrounds it means that it is consistently overlooked, underfunded and underresourced.

People with liver disease are diagnosed too late and thousands die unnecessarily without access to specialist care.

GPs need to be able to diagnose people with liver disease early and every person with cirrhosis should have access to specialist care.

If given the time and care it needs, the liver can heal.

Patient before and after diagnosis of Non-alcohol related fatty liver disease

Deb was diagnosed with Non-alcohol Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in 2017. She was diagnosed in time for her to receive effective treatment and make lifesaving changes that would eventually reverse the damage to her liver.

180 people are diagnosed with liver disease in hospital every day.  When people are diagnosed at this late stage, access to specialist support and effective treatment is limited across the UK.

Changes to improve diagnosis, treatment and care will ensure more people will have access to treatment and support to help treat or even reverse liver damage.

We know that if we can make as much noise as possible to call on the government to implement a clear and consistent strategy to find, manage and treat liver disease patients, more people can be diagnosed in time to make the lifesaving changes that Deb did.

Demand Faster Diagnosis of Liver Disease

The first phase of our Sound the Alarm Campaign is focused on improving early detection. 

We want to ensure that GP have the tools and resources to find patients at risk, providing support, access to testing and managing referral to secondary care as required.

By calling for these steps, we believe more people will be diagnosed at a stage where they can get the help, support and treatment they need to prevent further liver damage.  

You can support our campaign to Demand Faster Diagnosis by signing and sharing our petition. 

 

10 key changes to improve the liver disease crisis in the UK

1

GP talking to patient

Every GP practice should have an agreed way of finding patients at risk, testing, following up and managing, and referring to secondary care when necessary.

2

Blood pressure check as part of NHS health check

The NHS (over 40’s) Health Check in England and other regular checks across the devolved nations should be routinely used to find those at risk.

3

Automated processes need to be put in place in primary care to identify those at risk of liver disease, to include the correct blood tests and to manage appropriate follow-up.

4

Fibroscan

Every primary care provider to have direct access to a best practice fibrosis assessment.                                                                                                                

5

Support Group

Every Trust to have alcohol care teams to support those who drink too much and to refer those who have alcohol related liver disease to specialised liver teams.

6

Better access for people who are overweight to nutritional advice and weight management programmes.                                                                

 

7

Consultant doctor

Every hospital should have a designated liver lead who can refer a patient to a hepatologist or specialist centre if need be.                                                                   

8

More hepatology consultants are needed so every patient gets access to specialist support.   

 

 

 

9

Every liver disease patient should have access to a specialist nurse. 

10

NHS ambulance

Improved awareness in A & E so those who are diagnosed in an emergency are immediately referred to a specialist. 



Demand Faster Diagnosis of Liver Disease

The first phase of our Sound the Alarm Campaign is focused on improving early detection. 

We want to ensure that GP have the tools and resources to find patients at risk, providing support, access to testing and managing referral to secondary care as required.

By calling for these steps, we believe more people will be diagnosed at a stage where they can get the help, support and treatment they need to prevent further liver damage.  

You can support our campaign to Demand Faster Diagnosis by signing and sharing our petition. 

 

further information

Why patients and families are supporting the campaign

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