British Liver Nurses’ Association
The British Liver Nurses' Association (BLNA) is an affiliated group of the British Association for the Study of the Liver (BASL). The BLNA was formed following a merger of the BASL Nurse Forum and the British Liver Nurse Forum and was established in September 2017.
BLNA is a professional nursing organisation aiming to develop knowledge and understanding of liver disease, in order to improve the quality of person centred care, through:
- The advancement of good clinical practice in the care of individuals with, or at risk of liver disease, across all stages of their health journey;
- The promotion and dissemination of person-focussed research;
- The provision of educational support and educational opportunities in the field of liver nursing, incorporating the professional standards for liver nursing;
- The promotion of a collaborative and inter-professional approach to caring for people with liver disease;
- The advancement of clinical service development through a platform to highlight best practice and innovation;
- To encourage the liver nurse community to cultivate sustainable practice.
BLNA aims to offer support for all nurses who support people with or at risk of developing liver disease. Nurse members of BASL currently include nurses working within liver and gastroenterology units, the community, research, paediatrics and transplant, but with one common goal - to improve care for those with liver disease.
BASL/BLNA Travel Bursary Scholarship 2023 - BASL/BLNA Annual Meeting 21st & 22nd September - Application deadline - 12 Noon 29th August
There are a number of sponsored travel bursary scholarship awards for members this year to attend the forthcoming BASL/BLNA September Meeting. Scholarship awards are considered a contribution towards a registration fee, travel and accommodation expenses, but not subsistence. Members who have been granted another bursary to attend BASL/BLNA September meeting 2023 are not eligible to apply.
• Applications are invited from BASL/BLNA members who are UK-based Nurses, AHPs and Pharmacists in the field of Liver Nursing
• Applicants must complete the NMC/Professional body number section on the application form (if applicable)
• There is a maximum of number of awards available and therefore bursaries are not guaranteed
How to Apply
• Applicants will need to complete the formal Application Form for travel bursaries for the BASL/BLNA September Meeting 2023
• As part of the application form applicants will need to outline how the BASL/BLNA Nurse Meeting will benefit themselves and others in their future career.
• Applicants need to submit their application form via email to the BASL Event Manager at email@example.com .
Application deadline - 12 noon on 29th August 2023
News & Resources
The latest edition of the Liver Nursing Supplement can be downloaded by logging into the members area of the website > here .
Please remember to update your member profile whilst you are logged in - thank you.
British Liver Nurses' Association - Abstract Surgery Webinar 8 April 2022 - Recording Available
If you have a good idea for an abstract but don’t know where to start then the BLNA Abstract Surgery webinar will guide you through everything you need to know about preparing and submitting an abstract to a conference to showcase your work.
The webinar will give you the knowledge and understanding of:
• Why it is important to submit an abstract
• How to convert an idea into an abstract
• What the process involves
• What happens next…
View the agenda here > Download BLNA Abstract Webinar Agenda 8 Apr 22.pdf
The webinar is available to view through the members area of the website > Here.
Not a BASL member then sign up > Here . The membership fee for a Nurse or Affiliate member is £20 per annum.
If you have a good idea for an abstract then please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Liver disease is now the fifth most common cause of death in the UK and nurses are integral to making an impact on liver disease. This updated framework describes the professional standards expected of practitioners when caring for people with liver disease including liver transplantation. It is designed to support practitioners in a clear, consistent and evidence-based format to reflect their specialist knowledge and skills. This edition includes competencies for liver transplantation.
Download a copy of the RCN Caring for People with Liver Disease including Liver Transplantation; a Competence Framework for Nursing below:
Download the recent publication of the national guidance for 'Liver transplantation for alcohol-related liver disease in the UK: revised UK Liver Advisory Group recommendations for referral'
IQILS Accreditation Programme – nurse assessors needed
The IQILS accreditation programme is seeking nurse and medical assessors to conduct accreditation assessments for the programme.
The IQILS programme was launched in 2017 and is designed to support liver services in the UK. Accreditation is a supportive process of evaluating the quality of clinical services against the programme’s established standards.
Successful applicants will undergo a detailed training programme that equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge required to undertake the role. You will be invited to remote training sessions, as well as observe an assessment and receive support from the office team. If you are interested in becoming an assessor, please contact the IQILS team at email@example.com to further discuss the role.
Global Nurse Association Links
- Canadian Association of Hepatology Nurses (CAHN) - https://cahn.ca/
- Australasian Hepatology Association (AHA) - http://www.hepatologyassociation.com.au/
- American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) - https://www.aasld.org/about-aasld/global-outreach-and-engagement
- European Association of the Study of the Liver (EASL) - https://easl.eu/nurses-ahps-hepatology-learning-centre/
|BLNA Chair||Michelle Clayton, University of Leeds|
|Committee Member||Catherine Wood, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro|
|Committee Member||Laura Kent, Great Western, Swindon|
|Committee Member||Dianne Backhouse, Hull University Teaching Hospitals|
|Committee Member||Gemma Botterill, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham|
|Committee Member||Rebecca West, The British Liver Trust|
|Committee Member||Sue Eldred - Wye Valley NHS Trust|
|Committee Member||Katharine Caddick - North Bristol Trust|
|Committee Member||Rebecca McCabe - Wythenshawe Hospital|
Michelle Clayton RGN, BSc (Hons), MSc, PGC Clinical Education
Michelle is a part time Lecturer in Liver Care at the University of Leeds and a part time Liver Nurse Educator at St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds. Michelle has over 25 years of experience in the field of hepatology and liver transplantation.
Michelle is passionate about championing quality care for people with liver disease. She has been integral in launching the British Liver Nurses’ Association (BLNA); she also holds a steering committee position on the RCN’s Gastrointestinal Forum. Michelle has a large portfolio of publications and speaks both nationally and internationally on care considerations for people with liver disease and liver transplantation. Michelle led and successfully launched the “Caring for People with Liver Disease: A Competence Framework for Nursing” in February 2013 and collaborated with Lynda Greenslade to update the framework in September 2015. She has recently been asked to join the EASL concerted action group for nurses to raise the profile of liver nursing across Europe.
In 2012, Michelle won Gastrointestinal Nursing’s “Educationist of the Year” award for her work in advancing liver nurse education and care. She is on the editorial board of Gastrointestinal Nursing and was integral in developing the journal’s Liver Nursing Supplement.
Catherine Wood, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro
Cathie trained at the Royal Free Hospital London and worked at UHSussex (Brighton) within Digestive diseases for 19 years. She has a particular interest in viral hepatitis and has spent 6 years working as a Hepatology CNS, developing and working collaboratively to establish accessible viral hepatitis services across East Sussex.
Cathie is passionate about developing services that provide excellent clinical care, which is equitable and meets the needs of patients with liver disease. She is active in sharing evidence based practice and is a member of the South Coast Hepatology Nurses forum, the British Viral Hepatitis Group and the BASL Non- alcoholic fatty liver disease special interest group. She has a BSc in Health Studies and is interested in the wider implications of the determinants of health.
Cathie is keen to develop nurse led NAFLD/NASH multidisciplinary services and to work in partnership with primary care in promoting preventable liver disease. She has an interest in leadership, service improvement, change management and facilitating learning and education. She has recently taken up a post as a Virtual Hepatology CNS at the Royal Cornwall hospital and is looking forward to sharing her experiences of this innovative role.
Laura Kent, Great Western, Swindon
Laura graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2007 with a BSc (Hons) in Adult Nursing, before going onto to an MSc pathway in advanced practice. Her career has always been based in Swindon and Wiltshire, with various roles such as community nursing and specialist palliative care, including lead nurse for inpatient services at a local hospice and ten years as an acute hospital based specialist palliative care CNS.
In early 2019 Laura became the first hepatology CNS at the Great Western Hospital, autonomously building a specialist liver nursing service. It was palliative care that led Laura into a career within hepatology, due to a keen interest to address inequalities in specialist palliative care provision for patients with end stage liver disease.
A career highlight to date is a quality improvement initiative utilising long term abdominal drains for the care of patients with diuretic refractory ascites nearing the end of their life. This project saw Laura receive the Dr Falk and GUTS UK Nurse Recognition prize in 2021.
Laura is a keen champion on the development and progression of liver service design pathways and clinical frameworks to enable parity and rapid access for some of the most complex and intricate groups of liver patients.
Clinically Laura’s interests include the management of the decompensated patient and their transition from hospital to home, patient education to enhance quality of life and nurse education to drive up the standards of care for liver patients.
Dianne Backhouse - Hepatology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Hull University Teaching Hospitals
Diane's nursing career commenced in 1990 at the Hull District School of Nursing. She has enjoyed being part of the trusts Gastroenterology team since 1994 working in roles from junior staff nurse to matron, with 16 years as the senior sister on the gastro ward. She has always had an interest in liver nursing and has regularly attended the BLNA since 2000.
In April 2018 Dianne commenced as CNS Hepatology leading the new liver nurse service at Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust. This role consists of daily nurse led in reach to the acute medical unit, ED & non specialist wards for patients with decompensated cirrhosis, clinics for cirrhosis surveillance & liver ward discharges, and the day case paracentesis service. The new liver nurse service has resulted in excellent patient outcomes including a reduction in length of stay for patients requiring paracentesis, ensuring cirrhosis surveillance clinics occur at the correct timeframes by decreasing waiting list times, implementation of the cirrhosis care bundle, as well as excellent patient feedback.
Education is an essential part of this role therefore she is involved in training programmes for students, nurses, ACP’s, junior doctors as well as for teams outside of the trust such as alcohol liaison & local GP’s. In 2019 Dianne had the pleasure of presenting the impact of their new liver nurse service to wider teams at EASL & the BLNA.
Gemma Botterill, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham
Gemma trained at Birmingham City University graduating in 2009 with a BSc (Hons) Nursing and in 2014 with a Graduate Certificate (Hepatology). She returned to study in 2017 to complete her Health Assessment and Independent Non-Medical Prescribing. She joined the Liver medical team at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in 2009, moving with them into the new QEHB in 2010 working on Ward 726 - a Liver medical & surgical unit. Here Gemma looked after complex patients including post-transplant, end stage liver disease and those with cancer, becoming Sister in 2012. From 2015 Gemma also worked as a Viral Hepatitis CNS. As of August 2017 she has become a full time CNS.
A previous member of ITNS Gemma is now a member of the BLNA and the Midland Hepatitis Nurse Forum (MHNF) which saw her become Co-Chair in 2019. She has written for publication for the Nursing Times.
Rebecca has been a qualified nurse for twenty years. She started her first liver and gastroenterology job at Hull Royal and then went on to nurse at Swindon and Poole as a senior nurse. She has also been a practice educator and research nurse leading clinical trials.
In 2016 she began a new role at The British Liver Trust where she evolved, what was a patient information service, to now the UK’s only nurse-led helpline service. She manages a team of specialist nurses who answer complex medical enquiries UK wide. The team also respond to patients, families and healthcare professionals via a nurse email service. In addition, the team manages an online community forum of liver patients that has grown from 4,000 in 2016 to 26,000 members.
Rebecca is passionate about patient focussed research and improving care. She sits on the BASL Special Interest group for end of life care and works closely with The British Liver Trust clinical advisory group of hepatologists and nurses to deliver accessible and engaging advice to everybody with liver disease and liver cancer.
She has recently contributed to the National Liver Biopsy guidelines and is currently The British Liver Trust representative reviewing the BSG guidelines for the outpatient management of cirrhosis. She is extremely proud to be a nurse and herself and her team still maintain their links with clinical practice. As part of her role on the BLNA committee she will work hard to promote the nursing profession and support all liver and gastro nurses.
Sue Eldred - Wye Valley NHS Trust
Sue has been nursing for over 30 years, with a background in advanced practice and critical care gained working all over the UK. Sue eventually settled in Herefordshire finally finding Hepatology. After a spell in nurse management as Lead Nurse in Gastroenterology which she held addition to her Hepatology Clinical Nurse Specialist role, she has now chosen to return to full time clinical role, being recently appointed a Nurse Consultant in Hepatology at Wye Valley NHS in Hereford.
Sue is very proactive in service development and improvement creating patient nurse led pathways and strategies for the improvement of patient care. Sue’s focus over the last few years has been on developing aspects of the nurse led Hepatology service, overseeing the development from an initial nurse led hepatitis C treatment shared cared model to include now all aspects of liver nursing and care for patients with chronic liver disease. She has developed nurse led services in paracentesis, abnormal LFT clinic, Fibroscan, haemochromatosis and a viral hepatitis outreach service and had a significant role in developing the newly formed alcohol liaison service.
Sue is passionate about liver nursing and has held a number of committee positions including a period as Chair of the West Midlands Hepatitis Nurse Forum, member of the British Viral Hepatitis Group, and BASL Haemochromatosis special interest group, with regular attendance at both regional and national meetings and conferences.
Katharine lives in Bristol and obtained her BSC Nursing , MSc (Advanced Practice ) and NMP prescribing in the University of the West of England. Currently, she is based in North Bristol NHS Trust. Katharine has worked as a Hepatology CNS in Bristol for over 15 years, and within liver disease for over 20 years. She has a specific interest in Hepatocellular Carcinoma and end of life care and is directly involved in setting up patient care. She is keen to further develop the hepatology nurse community, share skills and provide support and education.
Katharine has established a nurse-led paracentesis service services in North Bristol NHS Trust – and previously in University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust. She has recently set up a joint hepatology and palliative care MDT, and run a patient focus group and am Macmillan adopted. Katharine is a part of the working group that helped North Bristol NHS Trust become one of the first hospitals to be IQUILS 2 accredited.
She is currently working with NICE as an advisor regarding non-malignant ascites, and National Health England to help develop HCC surveillance pathways. She teaches paracentesis to junior doctors in the Severn Deanery and regularly teaches other specialities within the hospital and community. Katharine aims to build links and meaningful pathways for patients.
Katharine is passionate about enhancing care for patients who are often marginalised by their disease, and act as an advocate to mediate optimum care and aim to ensure that both the needs of people with, or at risk of liver disease and liver nurses are represented. She is focused on improving the patient experience and health outcomes and compassionate, driven and enthusiastic and aims to engage with colleagues in meaningful collaboration.
Rebecca McCabe - Wythenshawe Hospital
Rebecca lives in Manchester and started her hepatology career as a medical secretary. She quickly realised she wanted to help patients with more than appointments and qualified as a nurse in 2011. After two years on the gastroenterology ward and a stint in Australia, she finally got her dream job as a Hepatology CNS at Manchester Royal Infirmary.
After two years working in viral hepatology, Rebecca moved to Wythenshawe Hospital to set up the hepatology nursing service. This included an elective paracentesis service, HCC surveillance programme and stable cirrhosis clinic. She has an interest in all areas of hepatology but particularly decompensated cirrhosis and PBC and is keen to learn more about transplant. She qualified as an ACP in August 2022.
Rebecca is passionate about improving care for patients with liver disease and has recently trained as an IQILS nurse assessor. This has given her the opportunity to see some fantastic liver services across the country and she really feels proud to be part of the liver community. Rebecca is currently working on implementing the BASL decompensated cirrhosis bundle, teaching paracentesis and setting up patient focus groups. She is keen to improve education, both to patients and to staff caring for patients with liver disease to ensure our patients receive the exceptional care that they deserve.