Champion eNews | November 2022 | 112This issue:

  1. Mandatory Testing Order fact sheet launched
  2. NSW Hep C Elimination Brainstorm makes waves
  3. New Hep C Peer video highlights important work with the community
  4. NSW Hep C Remote Prescribing Program lowers treatment barriers
  5. B Positive for hep B primary care website
  6. Australia’s Biggest Quiz update!

Mandatory Testing Order fact sheet launched

Mandatory Testing Order fact sheet launched

The Mandatory Disease Testing Act 2021 – which compels people to undergo a blood test if they expose frontline workers to body fluids – commenced on 29 July 2022.

A fact sheet for people who are subject to a Mandatory Testing Order (MTO) has now been published. A joint initiative involving Hepatitis NSW; led by ACON and HALC, supported also by SWOP, Positive Life NSW, ASHM, NAPWHA, and ASU – the resource sets out important information about MTOs, what the process is, how to appeal an MTO, additional rights available to vulnerable members of the community under the Act, and where to get support.

Hepatitis NSW, along with our BBV/STI sector partner organisations strongly opposed and fought against the law from its announcement. Despite the evidence showing no need for it, our campaign efforts were unfortunately not successful. We haven’t given up. We are committed to, and supporting, sector-wide monitoring of the Act.

We will continue to engage in ongoing discussions/consultations about processes in place and opportunities to work with our partner organisations and NSW Health to develop further resources and processes that improve this unnecessary and harmful law.

Mandatory Testing Orders fact sheet >>> CLICK HERE

NSW Hep C Elimination Brainstorm makes waves

Hep C Elimination Brainstorm makes waves

For the past two years, Hepatitis NSW has been hosting an informal, bi-monthly online discussion group for anyone and everyone who works in the hepatitis C space.

It’s an opportunity for people working in New South Wales to come together online and talk about the work we are all doing.
This brainstorm is a very useful platform for connecting with our colleagues across all fifteen Local Health Districts (LHDs), as well as other non-government organisations, and anyone else working towards hep C elimination.

The group provides an opportunity to share ideas and tips, suggest ways to secure funding for projects, problem solve certain current issues, and devise ways to work better across the state. It’s a great space for people who have been in the sector a long time to keep connected, and also a great place for new people in the sector to meet their colleagues.

There is now over one hundred people on the invite list, and we welcome anyone to join us for an hour – sometimes longer if discussion is particularly engaging – every two months. If you’d like to be involved, please contact:

Kyle Leadbeatter
email: kleadbeatter@hep.org.au

Hepatitis NSW AGM 2022

New Hep C Peer video highlights important work with the community

Peers Steve & JaseWe have a new video on our YouTube channel featuring two of our wonderful Hep C Lived Experience Peer Workers – Steve and Jase. The interview was shot in March at Pete’s Place Coffs Harbour, a drop-in centre for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. They talk about their work as peers and helping facilitate testing and treatment for people who often face barriers to accessing standard health care.

Hepatitis NSW believes in making hep C testing and treatment as easy and simple as possible to access… giving people the opportunity to live healthier, to live better, and to live hep C free.

Our lived experience peers play a vital role in eliminating hep C as a public health threat by 2028.

Hepatitis NSW peers work together with nurses to offer hep C testing, treatment, and healthcare at methadone clinics, homelessness services, mental health services, needle and syringe program (NSP) outlets, and residential rehabs. Together, peer workers and hep C nurses are helping hundreds of people across NSW access testing, treatment and healthcare for hep C.

Watch video >>> CLICK HERE

More info on Hepatitis NSW peer work >>> CLICK HERE

NSW Hep C Remote Prescribing Program lowers treatment barriers

NSW Hep C Remote Prescribing Program lowers treatment barriersThe NSW Hepatitis C Remote Prescribing Program – which increases access to hep C treatment in regional NSW and other settings where treatment may be limited – is gaining momentum.

With participating nurses and prescribers increasing in number, the program has demonstrated successful outcomes in the Central Coast in homelessness settings, and in the Mid-north Coast and Northern NSW in AOD and outreach settings.

The program’s model of care is nurse-led, and patient centred. Nurses perform the initial hep C assessment and patient work-up, and then refer them to prescribers who review the information and initiate treatment.

Program resources have been developed and/or adapted to facilitate the efficient exchange of clinical information. De-identified data collection forms jointly completed by nurse referrers and prescribers monitor program participation and patient outcomes.

B Positive for hep B primary care website

B Positive

The B Positive website, an ASHM resource for hep B primary care, has recently been reviewed and updated. This was undertaken to align with new GESA consensus recommendations for the management of hep B released earlier this year.

An enhanced “next chapter” function and menu, plus improved search functionality, was added to make it more accessible for primary care clinicians.

ASHM have also updated the Decision Making in Hepatitis B Tool, and Hepatitis B course materials to align with the GESA Consensus Statement, and B Positive.

These resources are available through the ASHM website for primary care-based clinicians and health workers. It’s recommended that healthcare workers have the latest version of the Decision Making in Hepatitis B Tool printed off on their desks, as a quick reference in day-to-day practice.

Australia’s Biggest Quiz update!

Australia's Biggest Quiz - Jan Fran

Last month saw people across Australia come together – online and in person – in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record. The quiz was a massive Australian community event – organised by Hepatitis Australia and supported by Hepatitis NSW – designed also to raise awareness of hep C and the availability of an effective and accessible cure.

The event was hosted at Blacktown Workers Club by journalist Jan Fran (pictured above), and broadcast live online to other sites across Australia, including Gosford, Goulburn and Dubbo where Hepatitis NSW staff were in attendance to provide resources and information on hep C.

Over 2,500 people participated, which should be enough to set the record, but we are still waiting to hear the official word from the Guinness World Record representatives. Regardless, it was a great opportunity to spread the word on hep C cures to members of the community who are usually outside that information bubble.

Not that we’re keeping score… but three of the NSW sites – Blacktown, Gosford and Goulburn – ended up in the leader board top five!

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