8 June 2022

WDP and Gilead Sciences have formally partnered for a second time to support sector-wide efforts to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) in drug and alcohol services by the end of 2023.

As part of this renewed partnership in with Gilead, WDP has recruited a dedicated Hepatitis C Coordinator to help its services achieve this 2023 target.

WDP has over 2,500 service users in treatment across the Barts, South Thames, West London and Cheshire & Merseyside Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs). WDP’s Hepatitis C Coordinator will be liaising with these ODN teams to better understand local needs and challenges as part of initial project planning and also to ensure ongoing high-quality partnership work.

In addition to this, WDP’s Hepatitis C Coordinator will also be working in partnership with the Hepatitis C Trust (HCT) and other organisations to improve pathways and take-up of testing and HCV treatment.

WDP initially received a Gilead grant in December 2019 to help increase its HCV testing and treatment uptake, enhance its data recording, and to apply its award-winning Capital Card® to its HCV pathway. The addition of the Capital Card meant service users could earn points by engaging in HCV testing and treatment appointments and spend their points on positive activities and products in their local community. Alongside NHS and Gilead jointly-delivered training to WDP teams, these interventions delivered a 114% increase in BBV testing uptake in WDP’s adult community services between September-December 2020, compared to the same four-month period the previous year, despite lockdown and other COVID-related protections.

Yasmin Batliwala, Chair of WDP said: “We are extremely pleased to be continuing our partnership with Gilead Sciences on this important work.  WDP is committed to eliminate hepatitis C in its drug and alcohol services by 2023 and although this is an ambitious target, we are confident that we have the right partners and people in place to help make this a reality.”

William McCully, Director, Patient Access to Care, Gilead Sciences said: “We are delighted to partner with WDP to deliver on the ambition to eliminate HCV in drug treatment services in England by the end of 2023 and look forward to supporting WDP’s Hep C Coordinator, the wider WDP team and the NHS to drive testing, diagnosis and linkage to care.”

Mark Gillyon-Powell, Head of Programme for HCV Elimination, NHS England says: “NHS England’s Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Elimination Programme is working towards a shared goal of eliminating hepatitis C as a major public health issue in England ahead of the World Health Organisation goal of 2030. We welcome this collaboration between two of our partners and recognise the important role it will play in driving forward hepatitis C elimination.”

Miriam Jassey, Southern Regional Manager, Hepatitis C Trust (HCT) said: “We are excited to work with the newly appointed WDP Hepatitis C Coordinator and look forward to further supporting the wider WDP team to increase HCV awareness, access to testing and referral to treatment through the lived experience of our peers. We are committed to working in partnership to ensure we leave no one behind as we work towards HCV elimination by the end of 2023.”