Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a blood borne virus and is an important cause of liver disease. Around 75% of people infected will develop HCV. If left untreated or unsuccessfully treated, can cause cirrhosis or liver cancer which, in turn, may lead to the need for a liver transplant.
NHS England (NHSE) have a target to eliminate Hepatitis C by 2025. NHSE established 22 HCV Operational Delivery Network (ODNs) in 2016 to drive forward the elimination programme. Each ODN operates a ‘hub and spoke’ model. Cheshire and Merseyside HCV ODN consists of seven acute trusts and RLBUHT is the hub with the following trusts being spokes:
NHSE sets each ODNs an annual run-rate which outlines the number of patients the ODN must treat based on Public Health England disease prevalence in their region. Cheshire and Merseyside HCV ODN has met this target in each of the last three financial years.
There are new treatments available for HCV, which are easily tolerated with very few side effects and in many cases they can effectively be cured of the virus. The introduction of Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs) allow each network to help deliver reasonable access to these treatments across the country, identifying and addressing regional variation in the number of quality of service.