14 April 2015

New Film Puts Hep C in the Primary Care Spotlight

A new film to raise awareness and increase knowledge of hepatitis C among GPs and other primary care practitioners has been launched today by the Royal College of GPs, the Hepatitis C Trust and HCV Action.

Hepatitis C affects around 214,000 people in the UK and the virus can lead to liver disease and cancer, making it a significant public health issue.

With 90% of all patient contacts in the NHS conducted by GPs and their teams, it is likely that patients with hepatitis C will at some point be treated in general practice and wider primary care services, yet guidance from both NICE and Public Health England suggest that more needs to be done to raise awareness levels among primary care professionals.

The open-access film aims to increase healthcare professionals’ knowledge about the virus, build their confidence in diagnosing and supporting patients and inform them of the new and highly effective treatments available in primary care.‘Detecting and Managing Hepatitis C in Primary Care’ is available to view for free on the HCV Action website.

The film is split into four bite-size sections, each of which is also available as a stand-alone resource:

  • Section 1: The impact & consequences of hepatitis C
  • Section 2: Identifying those at risk
  • Section 3: Current & future treatments
  • Section 4: Supporting people through treatment

Structured to enable reflective learning and support GPs in applying learning to practice – evidence of which are essential for appraisal and revalidation - the film is aligned with CPD requirements.

Charles Gore, Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust and member of the HCV Action Steering Group, comments: “HCV Action and The Hepatitis C Trust are delighted to be partnering with the RCGP to launch this highly important film. Despite the fact that hepatitis C affects so many hundreds of thousands of people in the UK, we frequently hear of low awareness and knowledge of the virus among GPs. GPs will be increasingly relied upon in the future to manage and detect the virus, and so this really is a must-see film.”

Danny Morris, Clinical Lead for the RCGP Certificate in the Detection, Diagnosis & Management of Hepatitis B & C in Primary Care, said: “Hepatitis C affects a huge number of people in the UK, and if left undiagnosed and untreated, can lead to serious illness and life threatening complications.

“GPs will increasingly be involved in delivering care and support to these patients, so it is vital that we raise awareness of the virus, improve education around disease prevention, improve rates of diagnosis and increase access to hepatitis C treatment throughout primary care.
“This video is essential viewing for all primary care professionals needing to increase their confidence and competence in identifying, diagnosing and managing hepatitis C and in offering lifestyle advice to patients by supporting them to reduce transmission risks and improving health and well being.
“It also complements the Hepatitis B and C Part 1 Certificate, which is run through the RCGP’s Substance Misuse and Associated Health team. We thank the Hepatitis C Trust and HCV Action for their support in this project and look forward to continuing our joint-work in the future.”

Further Information

Neil Cowan or Grace Everest, HCV Action
Tel: 020 7089 6220
neil.cowan@hepctrust.org.uk or grace.everest@hepctrust.org.uk

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7581
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The full film can be viewed here

About the RCGP
The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

About HCV Action
The HCV Action network brings together health professionals from across the patient pathway. It provides resources for commissioners, medical and drug services professionals, promoting good practice in HCV care across the UK. HCV Action is committed to improving the quality of care for HCV, including increased prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

The Hepatitis C Trust runs the secretariat for HCV Action. The network is funded by Abbvie, MSD, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen and Gilead.

For more information, visit www.hcvaction.org.uk.

To contact HCV Action, email hcvaction@hepctrust.org.uk

About The Hepatitis C Trust
The Hepatitis C Trust is the UK charity for hepatitis C. It is committed to reversing the steeply rising death toll from hepatitis C and provides information, support and representation for all those affected by the disease. Started by patients, almost all of its governing Board of Trustees, its paid staff and its volunteers are patients.

For more information visit www.hepctrust.org.uk or call 020 7089 7220.

About hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that predominantly infects the cells of the liver. If left untreated, the virus can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer and death. There is no vaccine but early treatment can successfully clear the virus and ongoing infection can be managed. There are currently estimated to be 214,000 people in the UK with the virus, yet only around 3% receive treatment each year.