• Led by Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, Consultant Psychiatrist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, supported by Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College NHS Trust.
  • Hosted by a substance misuse team within the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Aimed to reduce the incidence of blood-borne viruses among people with drug and alcohol problems.
  • Developed an evidence-based care bundle to standardise good practice, including screening, vaccination and clinical pathways into specialist services.

This project worked through clinical networks and service user partnerships to reduce the incidence of blood-borne viruses (BBV) among people with drug and alcohol problems. It aimed to both prevent people from contracting BBVs and to help those infected access the right treatment and support.

Key findings

  • The project made significant improvements in BBV interventions. It has left a legacy of standardised good practice and a toolkit for improvement relevant to all substance misuse services.
  • The BBV bundle has been embedded into ‘business as usual’ and has been added to the electronic assessment pack, ensuring that data will continue to be collected and performance measured after the end of the project.
  • The project will contribute to National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

Challenges

  • The dedicated specialist BBV nurse posts, the natural champions for the project, were abolished within the first months of project start-up.
  • Reduction of expertise at a local level in understanding of BBVs and patient group directive training.
  • The patient group is hard to engage, services need to be designed to accommodate their lifestyle.

Who was involved?

The project was hosted by a substance misuse team within the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and supported by local organisations including Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College NHS Trust. It also had links with the Hepatitis C Trust, the Health Protection Agency and Holloway and Wormwood Scrubs prisons as well as receiving academic support from Imperial College.

Further reading

Learning report

Using clinical communities to improve quality

December 2013
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