Turning Point supports World Hepatitis Day

News item posted: 28 July 2017

Jay Stewart, Turning Point’s Director of Operations for Substance Misuse, has released a statement for World Hepatitis Day urging action to prevent more needless ill health and death caused by Hepatitis:

“Hepatitis continues to be a disease that significantly impacts on people’s quality of life in the UK. In spite of having effective vaccinations for Hepatitis B and increasingly effective treatment for Hepatitis C, we have far too many people still being infected and ultimately dying from liver disease caused by these infections.

“Today is an opportunity to talk about how we can change this. Continuing to provide effective interventions to reduce the spread of the disease and to treat those affected is crucial. Specialist drugs services play a critical part in making this happen and ensuring that these services continue to receive the funding needed is essential.

“Budget reductions across the country mean that the provision of drugs treatment is at risk, and aside from the longer term impact this may have on NHS services, it could also impact on the ability of services to save lives by providing effective interventions to fight Hepatitis. By working together and making sure that people at risk are given interventions prevent the spread of disease, tested, effectively vaccinated for Hepatitis B and receive treatment for Hepatitis C we can make a difference to tens of thousands of people’s lives.

“We are calling on directors of public health and the government to ensure that resources for the prevention of the spread of Hepatitis are protected and increased in order to prevent the costly impact on public spending further down the line and so that we can reduce the number of people dying as a result of Hepatitis. The new clinical guidelines are a welcome development, but more must be done to prevent more people losing their lives.”