Lee Devereux and Simon Edwards from The Hepatitis C Trust’s prison peer team and Kat Wolf, Advanced Clinical Specialist – Blood Borne Virus Lead for Hanham Secure Health, write on their recent work supporting a hepatitis C High Intensity Testing and Treatment (HITT) event in HMP Leyhill:
Between 17th and 21st May 2021 HMP Leyhill hosted a hepatitis C High Intensity Test and Treat (HITT) event. The event was led by a team consisting of Hanham Health, The Hepatitis C Trust, Bristol and Severn Operational Delivery Network and HMPPS, supported by HMP Leyhill Hepatitis C Trust prison peer volunteers.
Over the course of the week, over 97% of the prison population were screened for hepatitis C antibodies using mouth swabs and every person taking part was offered a brief educational session about the transmission risks and how to stay safe, and informed of the highly effective course of treatment that is now available. The participants were also given a chocolate bar on the day and will be having £5 added to their spends as a thank you from the NHS for taking part.
Our target for the week was to test over 95% of the population and get any positives on treatment within two weeks. This is all part of a wider initiative to eliminate hepatitis C in England by 2025 and the world by 2030. We smashed the target with the over 97% and we can now safely say that HMP Leyhill is one of the first prisons in the world to be ‘micro-eliminated’. Our focus now will be to continue supporting our peer volunteers on-site so they can be delivering education and supporting healthcare staff to keep up the good testing rates on reception.
We just want to say a special thank you to everyone for making this a successful event to make the prison a safer environment for all and really importantly want to thank our Hep C Trust peers (Adriel, Frank, Darren and John) for their amazing support as we couldn’t have achieved this without them!
Leyhill – Free of Hep C!
Lee, Kat and Simon