A new film to raise awareness and increase knowledge of hepatitis C among GPs and other primary care practitioners has been launched by the Royal College of GPs, the Hepatitis C Trust and HCV Action.

Hepatitis C affects around 214,000 people in the UK and the virus can lead to liver disease and cancer, making it a significant public health issue.

With 90% of all patient contacts in the NHS conducted by GPs and their teams, it is likely that patients with hepatitis C will at some point be treated in general practice and wider primary care services, yet guidance from both NICE and Public Health England suggest that more needs to be done to raise awareness levels among primary care professionals.

The open-access film aims to increase healthcare professionals’ knowledge about the virus, build their confidence in diagnosing and supporting patients and inform them of the new and highly effective treatments available in primary care. Watch the film below:

Danny Morris, Clinical Lead for the RCGP Certificate in the Detection, Diagnosis & Management of Hepatitis B & C in Primary Care, said: “Hepatitis C affects a huge number of people in the UK, and if left undiagnosed and untreated, can lead to serious illness and life threatening complications.

“GPs will increasingly be involved in delivering care and support to these patients, so it is vital that we raise awareness of the virus, improve education around disease prevention, improve rates of diagnosis and increase access to hepatitis C treatment throughout primary care.

“This video is essential viewing for all primary care professionals needing to increase their confidence and competence in identifying, diagnosing and managing hepatitis C and in offering lifestyle advice to patients by supporting them to reduce transmission risks and improving health and well being.

“It also complements the Hepatitis B and C Part 1 Certificate, which is run through the RCGP’s Substance Misuse and Associated Health team. We thank the Hepatitis C Trust and HCV Action for their support in this project and look forward to continuing our joint-work in the future.”