HCV care in OPT clinic setting: changing Model of Care and inclusion of peer workers

A report back on Ms Sinead Sheils's session: HCV care in OPT clinic setting: changing Model of Care and inclusion of peer worker can increase client engagement and HCV screening rates.

Sinead spoke about the benefits of her model, which involves collaboration between a Nurse Practitioner and a Peer worker to increase access to DAA therapy. The peer worker significantly increased engagement in screening by establishing rapport and endorsing the validity of the treatments to fellow peers. This also freed up the Nurse Practitioner to perform clinical care duties.

Although the increased engagement had not yet translated into significant increases in DAA treatment, Sinead was confident that this may occur in the coming year. Moreover, the increased engagement was seen as inherently valuable from a patient-centred care perspective, especially in light of the multiple known treatment engagement barriers, including stigma. As a fellow Nurse Practitioner, the model has inspired consideration of employing a similar model within the community mental health and addiction space. The highlight of the presentation was the opportunity to hear from the peer worker John. It was immediately clear how his passionate and compelling story had increased consumer engagement around the clinic.

There was no sense of hierarchy between the value of the NP and peer worker roles. Both clinicians provided a unique and invaluable collaborative contribution to this fantastic model.

Author Bio: Rebeccca Brereton is a Nurse Practitioner working at Alfred community Mental & Addiction Health in Melbourne.