Change Grow Live’s ground-breaking new approach to tackling hepatitis C in North Yorkshire and Humber has reached a major milestone, with the first patients beginning their treatment journey.
This is the first time that anyone in England has received treatment for hepatitis C directly as a result of substance misuse service participation in the treatment element of their pathway.
Under a new approach led by Change Grow Live, drug treatment providers from across North Yorkshire and Humber have come together to form a partnership approach to testing and treating hepatitis C. Traditionally, these services have worked independently to test and identify people with hepatitis C, before referring them to their relevant NHS Operational Delivery Network for treatment. Now, providers will be working in collaboration with each other, staff from NHS England and the Hepatitis C Trust to deliver treatment directly to patients as part of their ongoing treatment journey.
The first patients begin their treatment
In May 2022, the first person to benefit from this new multi-provider service began their treatment for hepatitis C through North Yorkshire Horizons, a service provided by Change Grow Live’s partner Humankind.
Since then, a number of people are preparing to start their own treatment journeys with Change Grow Live and partner Changing Lives (York).
Speaking about their experience, one of the people on the new pathway with North Yorkshire Horizons said, “I’m glad to have found out I have hep C as it means it can be treated. I’m managing the medication well and have no side effects.”
Lee Wilson, Regional Director for Humankind, said, ‘We are delighted to be part of this innovative new approach which will help people receive treatment more quickly and within surroundings that they are comfortable in.
‘This project is a great example of what can be achieved when the substance use recovery sector works together and we’re very grateful to Change Grow Live, NHS England and the Hepatitis C Trust for partnering with us to support the people who use our services in this way.’
Rachel Hudson, Change Grow Live’s hepatitis C Lead Nurse for the region, added, ‘It’s been very exciting to work within this new model, working with other drug and alcohol treatment providers in ways that we have never worked before.
‘By sharing best practices and being innovative we can engage with people who have never accessed hepatitis C treatment and continue to work towards eliminating hepatitis C.
‘It has been such an achievement to see the first hepatitis C treatment start within a drug treatment service and we hope that we will continue to build on this new way of working to ease access to treatment and see a greater number of people being cured of hepatitis C.’
Hepatitis can disproportionately affect people receiving support from drug treatment services, and people often face barriers to accessing testing and treatment. By bringing providers together to share their knowledge, resources, and expertise, the new model is challenging those barriers and encouraging more people than ever to engage with treatment.
Read the full blog post here.
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