Publish date: 18 March 2024

We're delighted to announce that the Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES) Drug and Alcohol Service has declared micro-elimination of Hepatitis C.

Micro-elimination is a new way of tackling Hepatitis C in local areas. It uses a series of targets to make sure that people are being diagnosed and getting the treatment they need, quickly and easily.

The micro-elimination milestone was reached on Thursday, 21 February. In B&NES AWP, teams deliver community drug and alcohol services, this include work to detect and facilitate treatment for Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is a virus that is spread from person to person through contact with infected blood. This puts people who inject drugs at particularly high risk of infection.

If left untreated Hepatitis C can cause significant and potentially life threatening damage to the liver. But thanks to relatively recent developments in anti-viral drugs to treat Hepatitis C, it is now usually possible to cure the disease.

NHS England has set a target to eliminate Hepatitis C by 2025 and the World Health Organisation hopes to eliminate the virus world wide by 2030.

AWP's own project began in 2020 and the tireless and committed effort from all the staff involved has led us to this point where we are able to declare micro elimination, and celebrate the culmination of all that hard work.

Reaching this Hepatitis C goal has been a team effort. Staff from across the service have been involved in speaking to service users about Hepatitis C and collecting blood samples for testing. Special thanks must go to Katja Geitel, our Blood Bourne Virus Nurse, who has been leading the project.

Noreen Mughal, Community Services Manager, said: “We are so proud and grateful to our dedicated team who have worked exceptionally hard to achieve Hepatitis C micro-elimination. This is an incredible achievement, in being the first service in the South West to reach this milestone.

"We would like to thank the team for their hard work, commitment, and going above and beyond which has resulted in positive outcomes for the people we work with."