Campaigning in Wales
- Around 12,000 – 14,000 people in Wales have hepatitis C
- Half of all people who inject drugs in Wales are infected with hepatitis C
- Less than half of all people with hepatitis C in Wales are diagnosed
- Only around 700 people commenced hepatitis C treatment in Wales from 2011 – 2013, despite around 2300 referrals to specialist care being made
- Around 360 people with hepatitis C commenced interferon-free treatments from September 2015 – January 2016
Wales has an estimated 12,000 – 14,000 people with hepatitis C; the majority of whom remain undiagnosed and only a very small minority of whom receive treatment each year. In May 2015, following the completion of its Blood Borne Viral Hepatitis Action Plan, the Welsh Government launched the Liver Disease Delivery Plan. This Plan committed the Welsh Government to ensuring a targeted roll-out of new treatments, and to continuing efforts to improve hepatitis C treatment and care in the country. The Plan was welcome, and promises to have an impact, but there is still much more work to be done to tackle hepatitis C in Wales.
Our work in Wales is predominantly focused on increasing the public and political attention that hepatitis C receives. As well as participating in key policy groups which drive the direction of hepatitis C strategy in the country, we have also recently established an exciting project which brings together patients with health professionals and others working in relevant services, in order to campaign for improvements in the Welsh response to hepatitis C.
We also engage directly with members of the Welsh Assembly, and seek to ensure that hepatitis C is on the agenda of Assembly Members. We have, for example, co-ordinated visits by Assembly Members to hepatitis C services in the community, as well as briefed Assembly Members ahead of key relevant debates in the Welsh Assembly.
We are always seeking to hear from people affected by hepatitis C who wish to help us with our work in Wales. If you would like to get involved, please contact Neil Cowan at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7089 6220