High Intensity Test & Treat (HITT) programme

The HITT team was formed in September 2019. The aim is to ensure every prisoner in every prison in England receives a hep C test. If they are found to be positive, they are fast tracked onto medication. The deadline is less than two weeks for any follow up and to ensure that the BBV testing at reception is robust.  Although, the two week period is a deadline, most prisons follow up even quicker.

Once each prison has completed a HITT testing 95% of it’s population, it will be classed as an ‘eliminated’ site. It is vital each prison has the correct reception testing procedures in place prior to a HITT to ensure all new arrivals are tested to maintain the eliminated status.

The Hepatitis C Trust is in partnership with CareUK and Gilead to ensure all prisons where CareUK are the healthcare provider, undertake a HITT prior to 2022. CareUK aims to eliminate hep C from its sites by the end of 2022.

With the support of NHS Health & Justice, HMPS, Operational Delivery Networks (ODN’s) and other healthcare providers, a dedicated testing team will target all individual prisons and depending on the number ofprisoners, test everyone over a set period of time. 

Progress within the first 6 months:

The team completed two female prison HITT’s in January at Low Newton and HMP Foston Hall, the uptake from the women wanting to be tested was amazing, with both prisons reaching over 99% of the population of over 300 women.

They also completed three male prison HITT’s in the latter part of last year at HMP Leeds, HMP Warren Hill and HMP Stafford, again the uptake was great and between the three prisons there was an average 90% uptake from those that the test was offered to.

Peer support, to reassure individuals, is a key element within the whole testing programme as is partnership working. This really is about prison staff, healthcare staff and other partners working as one to achieve the same goal – hepatitis C elimination.
There are also a couple of prisons that have already screened their whole population prior to the HITT’s, these are HMP North Sea Camp and HMP Morton Hall.

By the end of 2019/2020 financial year,  they had a further 13 HITT’s completed with  HMP Swinfen, HMP New Hall, HMP Bullingdon, HMP Askham Grange and HMP Hull.


Fore more details on planned HITTS or to arrange a HITT for your site, contact:

Director of Prison Services – Sean Cox

National Prison Partnership HITT Manager – Lee Christensen