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In the arena of recovery focussed services, it highlights harm reduction as a key Intervention. Since the 2010 drug strategy was introduced with an emphasis towards recovery outcomes and exits from treatment, attention may have shifted from interventions such as safer injecting, overdose awareness and hepatitis C testing, treatment and support. However, focus on this is essential because it improves quality of life and saves lives. Regular hep C and other harm reduction training sessions help to reinforce a staff focus on hep C prevention, testing, treatment and reinfection awareness as a core intervention of the harm reduction work they deliver. Education in this area is also vital to help tackle stigma.
Knowledge delivered to professionals through training can then be disseminated to colleagues and the service users they work with, passing on valuable information about transmission, reducing harm, lowering infection rates and working towards eliminating re-infections.
From a strategic perspective it can improve outcomes for the service in regards to better health and wellbeing for service users, service users having trust in the service and its workforce.
Additionally it can show the service in a positive light with key stakeholders, as positive outcomes evidence services are working in line with national guidelines.
We are currently offering a wide range of hepatitis C, BBV and harm reduction training packages to services within the NHS Addictions Provider Alliance network.
The training packages that are delivered on behalf of Hep C U Later can be tailored to your service need, whether that be a catch up on the elimination process and our common goals, or full viral hepatitis training sessions that can be delivered face-face or through virtual mediums. These sessions can also be delivered in partnership with the Hepatitis C Trust, giving services invaluable information on how peer involvement can support services to engage hidden populations within their areas. The peer elements to training sessions often include testimonials on living with, and recovery from, the hepatitis C virus.
Hep C U Later have the use of Cepheid geneXpert machines. These machines can be loaned to services within the NHS Addictions Provider Alliance network to complete targeted testing work. The machine loan length can be negotiated to take into consideration the scale of the work that needs to be completed. Training and support with the use of these amazing pieces of technology can be arranged by talking to one our national elimination coordinators, the training coordinator or contacting Hep C U Later directly. The loan process can then be negotiated by Louise Hansford, Laura Hughes and myself.
If you’re an NHS Trust which is a member of the NHS APA and you’re interested in hepatitis C training or want to explore using one of the Cepheid GeneXpert machines in your service contact us:
Tony.Mullaney@mpft.nhs.uk (07977 397820, Hep C U Later Training and Development Coordinator)
Lousie.Hansford@mpft.nhs.uk (South and London Hepatitis C Elimination Coordinator)
Laura.Hughes@mpft.nhs.uk (Midlands and North Hepatitis C Elimination Coordinator)
Tony Mullaney (Training and Development Coordinator, Hep C U Later)