Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Advanced Service
The Community Pharmacy Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service commenced on 1st September 2020.
The service focuses on the provision of point of care testing (POCT) for Hepatitis C (Hep C) antibodies to people who inject drugs (PWIDs), i.e. individuals who inject illicit drugs, e.g. steroids or heroin, but who haven’t yet moved to the point of accepting treatment for their substance use.
Where people test positive for Hep C antibodies, they will be referred for a confirmatory test and treatment, where appropriate. The service is part of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s national programme to eliminate Hep C virus as a major public health threat by 2025 and aims to use community pharmacies to target PWIDs for testing, as they are the healthcare venue most likely to be visited by that group of people.
Any pharmacy that meets the service requirements can provide the service, but it will be of most interest to contractors that provide a locally commissioned needle and syringe programme service, with a sufficient number of clients, to make the investment in provision of the service worthwhile.
Pharmacy contractors considering providing the service should first read the service specification and then consider the likely costs of providing the service and the number of PWIDs they are likely to be able to test.
It is recommended that contractors refer to the PSNC webpage on Hepatitis C testing here for further details on this service.
CPWY works closely with the West Yorkshire Operational Delivery Network (ODN). The role of the ODN is to support Hepatitis C treatment and testing, and as such, are keen to work with local pharmacies in West Yorkshire. Please see introduction letter below.
Last Checked: 29th October 2021