Mentoring Frequent Non-Attenders With Hepatitis In A Deprived Area

Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership

Hepatitis C is a potentially fatal disease if left untreated. Treating and curing hepatitis C can not only save a person's life, but also reduces the chance of forward transmission to others, impacting on the health of the population.

Hard to reach groups of people often have complex healthcare needs and lead chaotic lives, suffer health inequalities, socioeconomic deprivation and can have significant substance misuse problems. Treatment requires numerous visits to secondary care clinics or community pharmacies over a period of several months where patients are assessed and receive their curative drug treatment.

With the support of ihub’s Improvement Fund we've been evaluating the impact of providing individual person-centred mentoring to people who have hepatitis C and frequently fail to attend health care appointments. We aimed to see if it was an effective intervention, particularly around:

  • the referred person being cured of hepatitis C 6 months after referral
  • the impact on attendance rate before and after referral
  • the impact on social work outcomes
  • time spent by mentor

This project fits aligns with the Scottish Government's aim to reduce health inequalities and the national Health and Wellbeing Outcomes.

It is estimated that for every one person cured of hepatitis C six people are preventing from contracting this disease – targeting a hard to reach population is an effective strategy to improve the health of a population.

The aim of effective mentorship is not just to treat a potentially fatal disease (allowing people to live longer), it is also anticipated that mentoring will provide benefits to participant’s ongoing health and wellbeing

  • What was the approach?
  • What was the impact?
  • What was the learning?
  • What are the next steps?

For further information on this project please contact: hcis.improvementfund@nhs.net