An outreach team from University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHP) visited Devonport Lifehouse as part of the UK strategy to eliminate the Hepatitis C blood borne virus.

Devonport Lifehouse is a residential support centre housing some of the most vulnerable and excluded people experiencing homelessness. The team from Derriford was screening people who might not normally access tests, due to barriers faced in accessing healthcare. Salvation Army residents were given the opportunity for testing at a place and time that was convenient for them.

Laura Bates, Viral Hepatitis Clinical Nurse Specialist, at UHP said: “We know that for some people who are homeless, they may be facing drug addiction which puts them at higher risk for contracting blood borne viruses. By ensuring all residents have been tested we can help eliminate these horrific diseases. We’re hoping we will be able to do the same in other hostels, not only in Plymouth but in the rest of the South West Peninsula."