Bradford Teaching Hospitals aims to confine hepatitis C to history

To mark World Hepatitis Day (28 July), the Hepatology team – better known as the liver disease experts – at Bradford Teaching Hospitals has launched a brand-new website to encourage more people to know about and get tested for hepatitis C.

The ‘Eliminate HepC’ website – https://eliminatehepc.bradfordhospitals.nhs.uk/ – is unique to our region and provides a one-stop-shop for Hepatitis C information and advice.

Hepatitis C, often called a ‘silent disease’, is a virus that can affect the liver. If left untreated, it can sometimes cause serious and potentially life-threatening damage to the liver over many years.

But with modern treatments, it’s possible to cure the infection in the vast majority of people, and most with it will have a normal life expectancy.

People can become infected with it if they come into contact with the blood of an infected person.

This means drug users are particularly at risk, even if they were a user many years ago. It can also affect people who were born abroad, as the virus is common in some areas including south Asia, have had tattoos abroad or had blood transfusions before 1991.

Many people have the infection without realising it as hepatitis C does not have any noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged.

That’s why the Hepatology team set out to develop the website –  to give people in the Bradford district the facts about the virus and clear, easy to understand, information about how to come forward for a test.

Clinical Nurse Specialist for Viral Hepatitis, Rizwana Kausser, said:

Here at Bradford we’re passionate about preventing serious liver disease by reducing the stigma around hepatitis C, getting people at risk tested – which is a simple pin-prick blood test – and, if needed, on treatment as soon as possible.

That’s why we developed a website which features our consultant, Dr Sulleman Moreea, and clinical nurse specialist, Rhian Simpson, explaining what hepatitis C is, the symptoms and how to contact us to arrange a test. We’ve also got some of our patients saying why they got tested and how important and easy it is.

Hepatitis C can affect anyone, so this website is for everyone who may be worried that they or someone they know has the virus. The new treatments we offer are in simple tablet-form and extremely effective. We’re really on a mission to eliminate Hepatitis C!

Some patients with Hepatitis C often have chaotic lifestyles so the Hepatology team keeps in touch and builds a trusting relationship with them, which really helps to support them to start and continue treatment with the aim to achieve a cure.

The nurses also work closely with the Hepatitis C Trust, a charity which supports addiction services and helps identify people with the disease, often drug users, and puts them in touch with the viral hepatitis service so they can get the treatment and help they need in a way which fits in with their lifestyle.

The team is based at Bradford Royal Infirmary and can be contacted on: 01274 383107 or you can request a call-back by emailing: bth.hepc@nhs.net

HepC Website Screenshot