Sections News

HCV Treatment Approaches - Updated Treatment Recommendations

Monday, 16 November 2015 13:27

Following the successful HCV Treatment Recommendations Meeting in Spring there have been significant changes in treatment options and a dramatic change in drug availability. We believe that reviewing and updating the treatment recommendations to take account of the new NICE guidelines as well as recent and future developments will be valuable in ensuring that all patients receive equal access to the new therapies.

We therefore plan to hold a second treatment recommendations meeting on Tuesday January 5 2016 in London. The meeting will run from 12-30 to 16-00 and will be an opportunity to review developments and discuss new management strategies.

Further details will follow shortly but please make a note in your diaries now

GR Foster P. Moss GJ Alexander S. Ryder

Launch of Four Nations Report

Monday, 16 November 2015 11:00

Today has seen the launch of a report from the Universities of Stirling and Sheffield entitled 'Four Nations: How Evidence-based are Alcohol Policies and Programmes Across the UK?'

The landmark report shows UK Government's alcohol policies are weaker than those implemented by the devolved nations. Policies from the UK Government and devolved administrations were reviewed against recommendations from Health First, the independent expert-devised UK alcohol strategy, in the first such audit of its kind. Overall strategy, pricing, marketing and availability of alcohol were amongst the areas examined.

Scotland had the strongest approach overall, seeking to implement the most evidence-based policies, working to clear outcomes, and with a taskforce in place to monitor and evaluate the Scottish Government's alcohol strategy. By contrast, the UK Government did not support the most effective policies, made inconsistent use of evidence, and was the most engaged with the alcohol industry. While Wales and Northern Ireland took strong positions in areas such as taxation and restrictions on young drivers, they have fewer legislative powers than the Scottish Parliament.

The report was co-authored by Dr Niamh Fitzgerald, at the University of Stirling and Colin Angus at the University of Sheffield.

A copy of the report but is also available here: or tel: 020 7255 9832.

Launch of IAS Report 'Dead on Arrival? Evaluating the Public Health Responsibility Deal for Alcohol'

Monday, 09 November 2015 10:42

Today the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) has published a report condemning the Public Health Responsibility Deal for Alcohol, suggesting it has "worsened the health of the nation". Titled Dead on Arrival? Evaluating the Public Health Responsibility Deal for Alcohol, the report's main findings include:

  • The Responsibility Deal is not endorsed by academics or the public health community
  • It has pursued initiatives known to have limited efficacy in reducing alcohol-related harm
  • The evidence on the effectiveness of the Responsibility Deal is limited and unreliable, due to ambiguous goals and poor reporting practices
  • Where evaluation has been possible, implementation has often failed to live up to the letter and/or spirit of the pledges
  • The Responsibility Deal appears to have obstructed more meaningful initiatives with a stronger evidence base behind them

IAS Report into Alcohol's impact on the Emergency Services

Monday, 26 October 2015 09:51

The Institute of Alcohol Studies have today launched a report on alcohol's impact on the emergency services.

The IAS report is based on a survey among emergency services (police, ambulance, fire service and ED consultants) where they were asked about their perceived burden from alcohol related cases, such as time spent on alcohol related cases and also about potential verbal or physical abuse at work from people affected by alcohol.

The survey of front line staff shows that alcohol takes up as much as half of the time of the emergency services. The issue is particularly acute for the police, for whom 53% of their workload, on average, is alcohol-related. However, even fire and rescue teams, who reported being the least affected of the emergency services by alcohol, typically spent one in five working hours dealing with the consequences of drinking.

The IAS would welcome the support of AHA members in spreading the word by sharing the results of the project as widely as possible using your social media and online channels.

The full report is published on the IAS website, along with a short animation film summarising the findings. Both report and film can be found at:

Hepatitis C ODNs service specification published

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 13:44

NHS England has published the service specification for Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs) for hepatitis C care in adults. The full document is available below. Many BSG members will have been involved in the set up processes to date at a local level but this provides NHS England's final specification document.

The BSG, through Steve Ryder and others, continue to engage with NHS England on the detailed operation of ODNs (including data requirements) and the opportunities for clinical peer review amongst ODNs.

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