Tom Arthur MSP visits hepatitis C service in Paisley

Tom Arthur, MSP for Renfrewshire South and a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee, today visited the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley to learn more about local efforts to combat hepatitis C.

Mr Arthur, who was recently named as one of The Hepatitis C Trust’s Parliamentary Champions, met with clinicians and nurses involved in delivering hepatitis C care, as well as local patients, in order to learn more about the impact of living with the virus, and the transformative effect of being cured. He was also told of the stigma often experienced by people living with hepatitis C, and how this can have a severe impact on the family and work lives of those people with the virus.

36,700 people in Scotland have hepatitis C, with around 14,000 of those living in the Glasgow & Greater Clyde area. New, highly-effective treatments can cure upwards of 95% of people, yet thousands of people with the virus remain undiagnosed. Scotland is, though, regarded as a world leader in tackling the virus and the visit was intended to showcase some of the efforts being undertaken to rid Scotland of hepatitis C.

Following the visit, Mr Arthur said:

I was delighted to visit the Royal Alexandra today to find out about some of the innovative work being undertaken across Renfrewshire and the west of Scotland to tackle hepatitis C. There is clearly still much work to be done, but with the Scottish Government’s commitment to eliminating hepatitis C being allied with the fantastic efforts of the doctors and nurses who I met today, I am sure that are well on our way to a hepatitis C-free Scotland.”

Petra Wright, Scottish Officer at The Hepatitis C Trust, said:

With around 42% of people in Scotland with hepatitis C still undiagnosed, it is essential that we continue to increase our efforts to find, treat and cure all of those people living with this preventable, treatable and curable virus. Having the support of MSPs like Tom is essential if we are to do this, as we continue our journey towards the elimination of hepatitis C in Scotland.”