Hepatitis C Action Plan for Scotland Phase II: May 2008 – March 2011
In 2004, the Scottish Government recognised that ìHepatitis C is one of the most serious and significant public health risks of our generation.” By December 2006, Health Protection Scotland (HPS) estimated that 50,000 people in Scotland had been infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and that 38,000 were chronic carriers (Figure 1). Following an extensive consultation in 2005, the Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer launched Scotland’s ‘Action Plan for Hepatitis C’ in September 2006.
Its aims are:
- To prevent the spread of hepatitis C, particularly among intravenous drug users (IDUs);
- To diagnose hepatitis C-infected people, particularly those who would most benefit from treatment; and
- To ensure that those infected receive optimal treatment, care and support.
The plan is a two-phased one. Phase I, undertaken during September 2006 to March 2008, involved increasing awareness about hepatitis C among professionals and gathering evidence through numerous surveys and other investigations to inform proposals for the development of hepatitis C services during Phase II (2008-2011). This paper presents the key findings of the evidence gathering exercise, recommended actions stemming from the evidence and funding associated with the actions.