A ground-breaking approach to hepatitis C in North Yorkshire and Humber

As part of the NHS’s goal to eliminate hepatitis C as a major health concern in England, Change Grow Live is leading a ground-breaking new approach to treatment in North Yorkshire and Humber. For the first time, we are bringing together drug treatment providers across the region to share their expertise and deliver support directly to the people who need it. 

People will now receive their hepatitis treatment as a part of their overall support, in a setting they are comfortable with and from people they know and trust. This new approach will remove barriers to treatment, build greater trust with the people we support, and encourage more people than ever to engage with treatment and be cured of hepatitis C. 

An innovative approach to hepatitis C treatment 

Traditionally, drug treatment services have tested and identified people with hepatitis C, before referring them to their relevant NHS Operational Delivery Network (ODN) for treatment. Now, services will be working together to share expertise and resources, and deliver treatment directly to the people they support. By linking up care across different providers, we can make sure that everyone is getting the highest quality support in the way that is most accessible for them. 

This partnership approach has been developed by the North Yorkshire and Humber ODN with input from Change Grow Live. As the lead provider, we will be sharing our expertise in this area, including our blood-borne virus toolkit, treatment pathways, and specialist teams and workers. 

Our Hull Renew service will act as the central hub for this new model, which also brings together Changing Lives, Humankind, East Riding Trust, We Are With You, and Spectrum Community Health CIC. Each provider will cover their own area, but we will be working closely with each other and our specialist colleagues from the NHS. Our colleagues at the Hepatitis C Trust will continue to offer care and support to people 

Carrie Richardson, Northern Regional Manager for the Hepatitis C Trust, said: “We are really excited to see the launch of this new service and the impact it will have on easing patient access to treatment. We hope this approach could act as a blueprint for future models of hepatitis C care and lead to a greater number of patients in substance misuse services achieving a cure.” 

Putting people at the heart of treatment 

This new way of working is underpinned by the belief that drug treatment services have a unique and established relationship with the people they support.  

By putting these relationships at the core of hepatitis C treatment, we can improve the experience for people already receiving support and encourage people into treatment with who we might otherwise struggle to engage with. 

Tracey Kemp, our National Hepatitis C Strategy Lead, said: “It’s really powerful to see all these different providers aiming for the same endpoint: to eliminate hepatitis C as a threat to public health. That’s been the golden thread: that we’re all in this together to treat people. 

We have a real opportunity here to pave the way for new ways of working and engaging with people. I’d like to think that other providers and healthcare professionals will look at the model we’ve put in place and see an opportunity to think differently about hepatitis C treatment.” 

Over the coming months, we will be keeping track of the number of people starting treatment via this new model, and gathering data about our performance. We hope to use our learnings to recreate this approach in other parts of the country, improving the treatment experience for the people we support and helping as many people as possible to be cured of hepatitis C. 


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