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Excellence in Communications – Payers/Policymakers

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Winner

Securing opt-out hepatitis C testing in all prisons in England

by The Hepatitis C Trust with Principle Consulting


Summary of work

Securing opt-out hepatitis C testing in all prisons in England

This highly successful public health policy campaign sought to improve health outcomes for prisoners across England and reduce health inequalities in access to hepatitis C testing and treatment, by securing a policy commitment to opt-out hepatitis C testing in all English prisons. The campaign resulted in a National Partnership Agreement between the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), NHS England (NHSE) and Public Health England (PHE) to introduce opt-out testing for BBVs (hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV) in prisons from April 2014. This policy change, secured as a result of our extensive communication with politicians and policymakers, will have a significant impact in identifying cases of previously undiagnosed hepatitis C. It will therefore impact significantly on reducing the prevalence of hepatitis C and thus mortality from hepatitis C and liver disease more broadly both in and outside prison walls.

Judges comments

This campaign achieved a clear goal of getting hepatitis C testing into the prison population. The judges were particularly impressed with the determination to tackle an area of high stigma, but low policymaker priority, and by the partnerships formed with the new NHS structures and the prison authorities.

Highly commended


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