Patients living in Winchester, Andover and the surrounding areas now have access to a ‘first of it's kind’ mobile community liver service.
NHS West Hampshire is trialling a Community Fibroscan Service across 18 of its Mid Hampshire practices, with hope to roll out across the whole CCG area in the future. Mid Hampshire Healthcare Ltd has been commissioned to trial the service until 1 April 2020.
Liver disease is the second leading cause of years of life lost in women after breast cancer, and the third in men after heart disease and suicide.
Approximately 11,000 people die from Liver disease per year in England, making it one of the ‘big killers’ alongside heart disease, cancer, stroke and lung diseases. Liver disease is the only major cause of death in the UK that is still increasing year on year.
The major challenge of diagnosing liver damage is that many people have no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. It can, therefore, go undetected until the disease is in its late stages when it cannot be reversed. This new service is an innovative way of detecting liver disease at an earlier stage in people who are at a high risk of developing liver disease, this gives us the ability to provide advice and support reverse liver damage. This early intervention scheme reduces the patient’s risk of developing advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis of the liver in the future.
Lorne McEwan, Locality Clinical Director and Board GP said
“Having a Fibroscan Service in the community will enable us to identify patients with liver disease at a much earlier stage allowing us to significantly improve outcomes for our patients.”
Dr Ben Inglis local GP and clinical director at Mid Hampshire Healthcare said “I am really proud to deliver this service, it is the first primary care Liver Fibroscan service anywhere in the world and we are really fortunate to have it locally for our patients”
Clinics run in Winchester, Andover and in the rural areas. Referrals to the service will be made through a GP.