RCGP Wales response: Hepatitis C

Royal College of General Practitioners Wales welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Welsh Assembly’s Health, Sport and Social Care Committee’s consultation on Hepatitis C.


RCGP Wales represents a network of around 2,000 GPs, aiming to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on resources, education, training, research and clinical standards.

The following response provides comments on the sections of the consultation we feel able to provide meaningful thoughts on. It therefore does not provide answer to each point in turn.

Point one: The action being taken to meet the requirements of the Welsh Health Circular (WHC/2017/048[Opens in a new browser window]) published in October 2017 and subsequently meet the World Health Organization target to eliminate Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C as significant public health threats by 2030

1)    No comment

Point two: How the knowledge and awareness of the public and health professionals of the Hepatitis C virus can be increased.

2)    Knowledge and awareness of the Hepatitis C virus is crucially important, not only for healthcare professionals but also for the public.


3)    GPs are in a unique position within society to engage with groups at risk of contracting Hepatitis C infection and encourage them to get tested for the virus.


4)    RCGP, in conjunction with the British Liver Trust, has developed a Liver Disease toolkit which provides specific guidance on Hepatitis C and its management in primary care. The toolkit is available as an online resource for primary care practitioners and is accessible here.

Point three: The scope to increase community-based activity e.g. the role of community pharmacies.

5)    RCGP Wales recognises that there is a cohort of the public who are less likely to approach their GP practice for an appointment to help with issues of addiction management, for instance prescription of Methadone. We therefore acknowledge that community pharmacies are well placed to reach these groups and promote public health messages.

Point four: The long-term viability of treatment programmes.

6)    No comment