Breaking one of the barriers to Hepatitis C treatment – Linking outreach to existing services

A report back on Gary Keogh’s session Breaking one of the Barriers to Hepatitis C treatment – Linking outreach to existing services.

 

Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN) have a successfully set up a network of nurse practitioner/clinical nurse consultants -led community clinics across Queensland targeting vulnerable clients and they are also happy to see anyone that walks in their door.   Their model is not preaching abstinence, but rather a harm reduction model. 

 

Queensland Injectors Health Network (QuIHN) have a successfully set up a network of nurse practitioner/clinical nurse consultants -led community clinics across Queensland targeting vulnerable clients and they are also happy to see anyone that walks in their door.   Their model is not preaching abstinence, but rather a harm reduction model. 

 

QuIHN offer a ‘one stop shop’ approach and Care Coordination for their clients who can have access to culturally sensitive care, which is co-located with Needle and Syringe Programs, Medical and Psychological services.  They can provide onsite pathology, firboscan and scripting for direct acting antivirals by their nurse practitioners.  They have established tertiary partnerships within local areas to safeguard the transition of complex clients into specialist care without them falling through the gaps.

 

As with many services providing Hepatitis C management and treatment, QuIHN have found difficulties with ‘picking the high hanging fruit.’ They have found that utilising peer workers have opened the door to harvesting trusting relationships with clients that walk in the door. This in turn brings clients back into the clinic requesting more information, advice or screening for hepatitis C. Peer workers opens the door for a candid discussion between clients accessing the NSP and the peer worker who can speak from a lived experience perspective.  This positive experience has led to more clients being screened and treated for hepatitis C, and therefore more people cured of the burden.