The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B Specialist Nurse

A nurse led service was established in May 2012 and provides care and support for patients with both acute and chronic hepatitis B.

The service is committed to providing the highest possible standards of care. Treatment is offered to patients in line with current guidelines (for example those from the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)), following discussion at multidisciplinary team meetings.

We actively promote public health in Leeds providing a vaccination programme for at risk new-born babies and working in partnership with Leeds Health protection to promote screening in high risk population groups.

The Clinical nurse Specialist offers both face to face and telephone consultations.

Feedback from a patient satisfaction survey in 2015 was very positive, with comments such as:

"Very helpful, arranges ultrasound and appointment together saving me multiple journeys to hospital."
"Great having a named individual who I can communicate with and see everytime."
"Explains things so I can understand.”

About Hepatitis B

General Information 

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver. The infection can be acute (short lived) or it can become chronic (longer than 6 months) and if left untreated can cause liver damage and liver cancer.

It can affect people of any age or race, but it is common in China,Hong Kong,Vietnam and other Asian countries. It is important to consider being tested, if you were born in or if one of your parents were born in one of these countries.


How does Hepatitis B spread? 

The virus is transmitted through contact with blood or other body fluids (saliva, semen and vaginal secretions) of an infected person. It can not be caught from normal social contact such as sharing plates and cutlery or holding hands.

Common ways of passing on the virus include:

  • Mother to baby at birth
  • Unprotected sex (oral, vaginal or anal)
  • Sharing razors or toothbrushes
  • Sharing needles for drugs
  • Tattoos or piercings if equipment not sterilised properly


What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B? 

Many people do not have any symptoms and often do not know that they have the virus. Symptoms of acute infection may include fever, nausea, abdominal pain or jaundice. Chronic infection may not have any symptoms until it has caused scarring of the liver, a condition called cirrhosis. The virus may also lead to liver tumours known as hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC.


Can Hepatitis B be treated? 

Treatment is not a cure but aims to suppress virus replication and improve quality of life. Not everyone requires treatment but if the virus is causing damage to your liver, then safe and effective treatment is available. If you are referred to the service in Leeds, you will be monitored in clinic regularly and may require a liver biopsy or liver fibroscan to help the doctor decide which treatment would be best for you.

  • Treatments available through the Service in Leeds are:
  • Pegylated interferon (a weekly subcutaneous injection)
  • Oral antiviral tablets (NUCs)

A member of the team will discuss the most appropriate treatment for you. It is important to attend for regular checkups to monitor your response to treatment.


Contact Details

Telephone: 0113 2066070

Fax: 0113 2067379

Useful Websites

Hepatitis B Foundation UK

British Liver Trust

NHS Choices

Referral Form