Policy and parliamentary
The Hepatitis C Trust’s policy and parliamentary team are a leading force in campaigning to improve the outcomes of people with hepatitis C. Focused on improving awareness of hepatitis C among policymakers, MPs and Peers in Westminster – as well as parliamentarians within the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales – our aim is to improve testing, diagnosis and access to treatment and support for patients. Our ultimate goal is for hepatitis C to be eliminated as a serious public health concern in the UK.
We meet regularly with key policy stakeholders across NHS England, Public Health England and the Department of Health, collaborating to advocate for patient-centred, evidence-based, workable proposals and solutions for improving hepatitis C services across the UK.
Our parliamentary and devolved-assembly champions from across the political spectrum are crucial partners in helping us to raise awareness of hepatitis C and lobby for a more robust response from Government and health bodies. The Hepatitis C Trust acts as the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Liver Health, which holds inquiries, produces reports and holds regular meetings aimed at pushing hepatitis C and the other major causes of liver disease onto the policy agenda. Read more about our work with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Liver Health here. In Scotland, we coordinate the Scottish Hepatitis C Parliamentary Champions, a group of cross-party MSPs committed to providing a voice in the Scottish Parliament for people with hepatitis C.
Some of our campaigning successes have included:
- Scottish Government commitment to the elimination of hepatitis C as a serious public health concern, and to introducing opt-out BBV tests in all Scottish prisons, within its 2015 – 2020 Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework.
- In 2014 our All-Party Parliamentary Group on Liver Health (formerly the APPG on Hepatology) Inquiry report into Outcomes in Liver Disease ‘Today’s Complacency, Tomorrow’s Catastrophe’ led to a commitment by Public Health England to producing a national Liver Disease Framework.
- In 2013 we secured an agreement by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), NHS England and Public Health England to the universal introduction of opt-out testing for BBVs (blood-borne viruses) in English prisons by 2016/17.