Campaigning in Scotland

Key statistics

  • An estimated 21,000 people in Scotland have hepatitis C.
  • Around 50% of people with hepatitis C in Scotland remain undiagnosed.
  • 50% of people who have ever had a hepatitis C infection are from the poorest fifth of the Scottish population.
  • In 2015, the Scottish Government committed to the elimination of hepatitis C as a public health concern by 2030. In 2019, the Scottish Government set a target of achieving elimination by 2024. 

Scotland has 21,000 people with hepatitis C, with around half of those undiagnosed. 

Impressive strides have been taken in Scotland over the past decade to tackle the virus, but there is still much work to be done to ensure that more people are tested, diagnosed, treated and cured, and that the virus is eliminated as a serious public health concern. The Hepatitis C Trust has played a big role in much of the progress that has been made over the past decade, and is committed to continuing this work in the years ahead; ensuring that the patient voice is always front and centre.

Our Scottish Officer, Petra Wright, leads our work in the country. As well as lobbying and campaigning for improvements to hepatitis C services and strategy, Petra also co-ordinates patient activism through the National Patients Forum and the Hepatitis Voices programme, both of which she works on alongside Hepatitis Scotland.

Patient activism and involvement

The National Patients Forum is a forum for anyone in Scotland with hepatitis B or C to discuss the issues that are affecting them, as well as receive updates on the latest developments around viral hepatitis in Scotland. The Forum holds meetings several times a year in different locations around Scotland.

Patient Activism in Scotland from The Hepatitis C Trust on Vimeo.

Hepatitis Voices is a new programme to help patients become actively involved in local and national hepatitis C decision-making networks. By providing patients with the tools and skills to make sure their voice is heard, the programme seeks to place patients at the heart of the fight to tackle hepatitis C in Scotland.

Policy and parliamentary work

We are committed to ensuring that hepatitis C receives the political attention that it deserves in Scotland. In September 2015, the Scottish Government committed itself to the elimination of hepatitis C as a public health concern. This was a significant moment, but with 42% of people with hepatitis C in Scotland still undiagnosed and with only small numbers of people receiving treatment each year, it is only through ensuring that MSPs and the Scottish Government remain focused on hepatitis C that we will see the goal of elimination being achieved.

We are continuing to campaign for an elimination strategy in Scotland which would set out how the Scottish Government intends to deliver on its commitment to eliminate hepatitis C. With the support of our Parliamentary Champions, we conducted an inquiry into hepatitis C elimination in Scotland in 2017. As part of the inquiry, we heard oral evidence and collected written evidence from a range of stakeholders. On the basis of this evidence, we produced the report 'Eliminating Hepatitis C in Scotland: A Call to Action', which sets out some of the practical steps that can be taken to ensure a hepatitis C-free Scotland. 

Through engagement with MSPs and the Scottish Government, we seek to ensure that the voices of people with hepatitis C in Scotland are heard loud and clear in the Scottish Parliament. Whether meeting with parliamentarians, staging parliamentary events, or participating in high-level policy groups, we work hard to make sure that hepatitis C is made a priority by key decision-makers in Scotland.

Contact details

If you would like to get involved in the National Patients Forum or the Hepatitis Voices programme, or if you would like to discuss anything related to the hepatitis C patient experience in Scotland, you can contact Petra at or on 01324 614 063, or write to her at:

The Hepatitis C Trust
Suite 3/4
Falkirk Business Hub
45 Vicar Street

If you would like to discuss Scottish policy or parliamentary issues, please contact Aidan Rylatt at or on 020 7089 6205

We have created a Patient Activist Toolkit, which is a guide to the action you can take to raise awareness of hepatitis C and inform local decision-makers of the important role they have to play in eliminating the virus. You can download the toolkit below.