About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that can cause liver disease. Generally the virus is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact and before the introduction of screening donated blood in 1991, it was also spread through blood transfusions. HCV can be acquired by people who inject drugs through the sharing of needles and other injecting paraphernalia (gear) and there is a small risk of infection associated with tattooing, electrolysis, body piercing, acupuncture and sexual intercourse. There is a transmission rate of about 6% at birth from mother to child if the mother is a HCV carrier (NICE 2004).
Prevalence in the UK population is estimated at 0.4% to 1% (DOH 2004).
Current treatment is with NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) approved therapies. The treatment options and length of treatment is dependent upon many factors such as the strain of the virus, viral load, age and damage to the liver, and these factors can also affect the response to treatment and the chance of success.
Hepatitis C Service
Outpatient services for hepatitis C patients are provided through the Viral Hepatitis Clinic. This is a multi-disciplinary clinic delivered by specialists in Hepatology, Sexual Health and Infectious Diseases, supported by expert specialist nurses and pharmacists. Patients referred to the Viral Hepatitis Service will have a liver fibroscan performed at their assessment appointment either in the medical clinic or with the nurse. The hepatitis C service is one of the largest treatment centres in the UK, treating up to 180 patients a year, including those who are treatment naive, for retreatment, or pre- or post-transplant, with the latest NICE approved drugs.
The team of nurse specialists are a dedicated team providing expert care to patients before, during and after treatment. The team are committed to provide the best practice to optimise treatment outcomes for patients with the support of the Consultant Hepatologists.
Our hepatitis C service was highly commended in the Leeds Teaching Hospitals “Time to Shine” awards in 2016.
Referral to this service is through the Viral Hepatitis clinic at St. James’s University Hospital. Referral guidelines can be found on Leeds Health Pathways (accessible via an N3 connection).
The Leeds Liver Unit hosts the regional Operational Delivery Network for West Yorkshire and Airedale and works closely with other hospitals within the network to ensure that patients around our region have good access to hepatitis C treatments. Patients are discussed in our multidisciplinary team meeting.
Telephone: 0113 2065949 Fax : 0113 2067379
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