Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an infectious, blood borne virus that affects the liver and is predominately transmitted by contact with infected blood. In the UK, those at highest risk of contracting HCV are people who inject drugs (PWIDs). National data suggests that PWIDs account for 90 percent of all new HCV infections.1
Chronic HCV infection, where the virus is not cleared, occurs in about 70 to 90 percent of people with HCV.2 Liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, which are sometimes an associated consequence of chronic HCV infection, account for most of the burden of disease due to viral hepatitis.3 HCV is treatable with antiviral medicines and can be detected through antibody testing.
The UK government supports the World Health Organization’s goal of eliminating HCV by 2030 and plans to eliminate HCV in England by 2025.4 The Community Pharmacy Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service, an advanced service commissioned under the NHS Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework forms part of this plan. The aim of this service is to increase levels of testing for HCV amongst PWIDs who are not engaged in community drug and alcohol treatment services to:
In order to prepare to deliver the Community Pharmacy Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service you should familiarise yourself with the service specification. Watching the NHS England and NHS Improvement Training video for Hepatitis C antibody testing in community pharmacy video is a mandatory training requirement. These resources, along with further learning resources, can be accessed under the tabs below.
Click the following tabs where you will find information on how to prepare to deliver the Community Pharmacy Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service.
The Community Pharmacy Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service service specification provides further background information, the aims and intended outcomes of the service and the details around service provision. The appendices contain the forms that you will require during the delivery of this service. Click the button below to download the service specification.Community Pharmacy Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service service specification
NHS England and NHS Improvement have produced a training video for hepatitis C antibody testing in community pharmacy which can be accessed below. This training video serves as the mandatory core training requirement for any staff providing the service. It has been designed to provide community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with the key information required to carry out consultations and HCV antibody testing for individuals who currently inject drugs and are not engaged in any treatment for their substance misuse.
The video covers the following topics:
At the end of the Training video for Hepatitis C antibody testing in community pharmacy the following further learning resources are suggested for further personal learning:
Any queries about this service should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org