Hep C U Later – Our two year strategy

In this blog Hep C U Later Programme Lead, Deanne Burch, outlines the planned key milestones in the journey to say Hep C U Later.

The Hep C U Later Programmes:

Since 2020 Hep C U Later have been commissioned to provide support and coordination for the micro-elimination of hepatitis C within the NHS Addiction Provider Alliance member Trusts*.  This programme has now been fully funded by NHS England’s Hepatitis C Elimination Programme.

In 2022 Hep C U Later were commissioned by NHS England to provide an additional Engagement Programme**, focusing on providing awareness, resources and engagement to key healthcare professional groups across England.

Our Key Successes:

So far the Hep C U Later programmes have both seen some great successes – the micro-elimination of hepatitis C in 20 NHS community drug and alcohol services, the broad engagement and reach demonstrated by the new Engagement Programme and the vast development of resources, best practice, and training.

Critical to the success of these programmes has been the effectiveness of cross-system collaborations, the continued commitment of individual champions, and the united vision we all share.  It is also fair to say that we would not be so close to achieving our goals if it were not for the enabling effect of NHS England and our other vital stakeholders.

We have achieved a great many things collectively and these achievements are detailed fully in our Impact Reports available on our resource page.

The Hep C U Later Drug and Alcohol Programme – The Next Two Years:

Over the next two years we have three very clear aims for our programme focused on supporting community drug and alcohol services:

  1. Achieving hepatitis C micro-elimination in the remaining NHS Addiction Provider Alliance (NHSAPA) member services
  2. Leaving community drug and alcohol services in a good position to sustain hepatitis C micro-elimination
  3. Improving harm reduction and widening access to hepatitis C testing and treatment

In the rest of this blog we share a brief outline of our planned work and strategy for achieving these ambitions.

Aim One – Reaching hepatitis C micro-elimination across the NHSAPA member services:

We have been working towards this aim since the start of the programme in 2020, systematically developing our strategies to support services achieve this very challenging goal.  We will:

  • Build on the successful data analysis support we provide through further developing the micro-elimination dashboards, implementing further data anomaly reports, providing more detailed data analysis and bringing together data analysts within practitioner forums
  • Continue to underpin our work with good governance, detailing our processes and sharing these to support other organisations
  • Continue to provide the bespoke coordination of drug and alcohol services, utilising the expertise of our coordinators, and from across the sector, sharing learning and developing resources which help people to overcome the challenges they face within pathways
  • Continue to deliver tailored training, on the ground support with testing events and continue to roll out the Cepheid GeneXpert machines where they are needed
  • Build further on the Hep C U Later social media campaign, continuing to raise awareness

Aim Two – Ensuring services can sustain hepatitis C micro-elimination:

This aim is focused on ensuring services are in the best position possible to sustain micro-elimination when the programme ends.  To do this we will:

  • Continue our work with other organisations and commissioners across the sector to make sure best practice is standardised
  • Develop data monitoring processes and dashboards which can be managed by services themselves, without the support of Hep C U Later
  • Complete sustainability action plans with all services who achieve micro-elimination
  • Support services to embed hepatitis C elimination work even further within health inequalities work
  • Use our expertise in drawing together multiple organisations within Practitioner Forums to help solve issues ‘on the ground’ and escalate issues that need to be resolved nationally

Aim Three – Improving the delivery of harm reduction interventions and widening the access to testing and treatment outside of drug and alcohol services

Key to upholding the legacy of what has been achieved so far is ensuring that effective approaches to prevention are in place.  This means not only looking for opportunities to improve, but to also share the good practice we see.   Our key focus will be harm reduction interventions and widening access to testing outside of drug and alcohol services.  To do this we will:

  • Provide wrap-around pilots outside of drug and alcohol services, sharing the reports across the sector
  • Co-producing harm reduction guidance for drug and alcohol services with people with lived and living experience, key organisations and individuals across the sector
  • Developing and providing resources and training aimed at improving the harm reduction interventions delivered in pharmacies and drug treatment services, with a focus on reducing health inequalities
  • Delivering information about hepatitis C and the national hepatitis C testing portal to a wider community


Collectively we have achieved some incredible milestones since the start of the Hep C U Later programme, and this has fed into the good outcomes seen from the work across England led by the NHS England Hepatitis C Elimination Team.  This is work that has improved health, saved lives, reduced liver transplants, prevented liver disease and liver cancer, as well as provided hepatitis C treatment to some of the most deprived populations in the country.

Hep C U Later are now in the phase of using our expertise to support the remaining services to reach micro-elimination, ensuring strategies are in place to sustain it, and widening our focus even further.  A critical part of how we sustain micro-elimination is through how we approach prevention, and how we align hepatitis C with other health and wellbeing interventions being prioritised within the system.  As we progress with these planned streams of work we will endeavour to continue collaborating, building on what works, and updating everyone who has been involved in the Hep C U Later programme so far.

Thank you to everyone who has, and will, say ‘Hep C U Later’, we are truly grateful for your support.

Deanne Burch. Hep C U Later Programme Lead


*Funding for the drug and alcohol focused Hep C U Later programme was funded by Gilead Sciences from 1/1/20-31/3/24 as part of the NHS England hepatitis C elimination tender.  From the 1/4/24 the Hep C U Later drug and alcohol focused programme was funded by NHS England’s Hepatitis C Elimination Programme. 

**The Engagement Programme is an additional initiative provided by Inclusion, part of Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust enabled through the existing NHS Addiction Provider Alliance initiative.