“Streamlining the hepatitis C test-and-treat pathway in a remand prison: real-world experience from HMP Swansea” – Hints and Tips
James Plant is a Blood Borne Virus Specialist Nurse working in HMP Swansea, a remand prison with a known high prevalence of PWID and people susceptible to infection with blood borne viruses, including hepatitis C.
Challenges: the average length of stay in HMP Swansea is 8–12 weeks, making it challenging to diagnose hepatitis C and complete treatment in this incarcerated population prior to release. Furthermore, upon release into the community, clients are often lost to follow-up and can become hard to reach.
Aim: to streamline the test-and-treat pathway, allowing hepatitis C to be diagnosed and treatment to be commenced and completed during the period of custody.
Results: through collaboration between multidisciplinary teams and engagement of peers, HMP Swansea implemented a successful model of care involving point-of-care testing, opt-out screening and an accessible supply of medication.
Here, James Plant shares his key learnings of the process to support other prison settings in implementing HMP Swansea’s new model of care.