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Hep C U Later alongside the Wessex Operational Delivery Network embarked on a GP initiative with Dr Mufeed Ni’Man from the South Coast Medical Group at a practice in Boscombe to ensure people previously identified as having hepatitis C had been treated.
The initiative started in July 2022 after the practice was identified as being linked to a local rehab and therefore might have people registered who had previously used drugs but have not been linked to drug services for some time and therefore may have people who have not been treated or may be unaware of their infection.
Meetings began with the practice and the initial concerns were time and capacity. It became clear that they required additional support from the Wessex ODN coordinator and Hep C U Later coordinator. An MOU was signed to enable the Operational Delivery Network access to systems to update patient information and reduce the amount of resource required by the practice.
Initially the project was using the MSD Patient Search Identification (PSI) tool which is a tool built into SystmOne. The tool can look for risks where someone may have come into contact with a risk factor linked to hepatitis C. Running the search tool can give large amounts of results which have to be filtered through therefore the project focused initially on those who were known to have hepatitis C to ensure they had been offered treatment and their records were up to date, with the plan of completing further work for those identified as having a risk factor at a later stage.
The project has found multiple people who still required hepatitis C treatment and engaged with them to encourage them to complete it. Additionally some individuals have completed treatment and their record have been updated.
“I was excited about the project as it would help more patients and increase awareness of this treatable disease. We have found patients whom we treated to improve their health and reduce their mortality, as well as reduced the inappropriate use of health resources. Partnership working is great. Don’t give up on patients with Hep C.”
Dr Mufeed Ni’Man from the South Coast Medical Group
“The initial learning was the amount of different codes that GPs can use, the fact that I knew people on the list had been successfully treated and it hadn’t made it back onto the GP records, the joining up of everything, people that had been missed or had ‘look back letters’ and it hadn’t progressed to anything else. I very quickly identified that I could save lots of people time be recoding people’s records, for example, using ‘hep c resolved’.”
“Without someone accountable and driving it forward it can slip, so having someone coordinate the process is really important.”
Louise Hansford, Hepatitis C Elimination Coordinator, Hep C U Later
“The idea of the last treatment, Interferon, scared me and I didn’t want to do it, but the support team got in contact with me and explained about the new treatment. I was still a bit apprehensive but they offered me an opportunity for a better life…to extend my life.
It took me about a week and a half after I got the tablets to take them because I was scared. My treatment’s now finished and people are telling me I look a lot better. Anybody who is thinking about it just do it.”
Anonymous Patient from the GP Project, October 2023