Your right to hep C treatment and care
Everyone living with hep C is entitled to receive support and care. This universal right is underpinned by the NHS Constitution that outlines what all patients should expect in terms of access to health services, quality of care and environment and rights about treatments.
Here is some information on your rights at key stages on your journey to be hep C free. However it is important to remember that everyone’s journey is different.
If you have hep C, don’t ignore it; speak to your doctor to find out what treatment and care options are right for you.
You have the right to have a hep C test at a location that suits you. Free and confidential tests are available at most GP services, sexual health clinics, drug treatment services and some pharmacies. If you need help accessing testing, organisations such as the Hepatitis C Trust (see Resources section) can provide advice through their helpline 0845 223 4424.
Everyone has a right to see a specialist to discuss hep C treatment options. If you have hep C or have tested positive for hep C speak to a healthcare professional, such as a drug treatment nurse, genitourinary medicine (GUM) doctor or your GP to get a referral that will allow you to make an appointment with a specialist.
If you do not have a GP or still have problems obtaining a referral or assessment, The Hepatitis C Trust helpline 0845 223 4424 may be able to help.
Before starting treatment, you will usually need more tests to help you and your doctor decide the best treatment option for you.
As well as discussions about your lifestyle, other medical conditions and medicines you might be taking, your assessment can include tests to find out the health of your liver. Knowing how much damage you may have can determine the type and length of your treatment
Several new hep C medicines are available to some degree on the NHS. As hep C is a complex disease, with many stages and different types, not all these treatments are available or suitable for all patients. If a medicine is recommended by the national body called The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), patients in England are legally entitled to be treated with it and funding is compulsory. See Hepatitis C Treatment section for more information.
For more information on treating hep C visit hepctrust.org.uk/treatment.
Watch this video about Louise’s empowering story on how she got the hep C care she deserved.