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 aims to:
It is a professional nursing organisation aiming to develop knowledge and understanding of liver disease, in order to improve the quality of patient care, through:
- The advancement of good clinical practice in the care of individuals with, or at risk of liver disease;
- The promotion and dissemination of patient-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 multi-disciplinary approach to caring for people with liver disease.
BLNA aims to offer support for all nurses who see patients with or at risk of developing liver disease. Nurse members of BASL currently include nurses working within liver wards and gastroenterology wards, the community, research, paediatrics and transplant, but with one common goal - to improve care for those with liver disease.
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:
The BLNA holds two nurse meetings a year and the dates for the 2020 meetings can be found below:
Spring meeting - Friday 24th April 2020 in Birmingham - update - postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic to 2021 date tbc.
September meeting - Friday 25th September 2020 - this year the BLNA September meeting will take place as a virtual forum. The programme will include; educational presentations, poster presentations, networking and live Q&A. An interactive afternoon is planned that will allow liver nurses to participate in educational content, share information and network. Following the COVID-19 pandemic the BLNA would like to encourage the liver nurse community to participate in a dedicated event to discuss challenges, share knowledge and deliberate the changed healthcare landscape. Visit the BASL Events page for further details.
A number of travel bursaries are usually available to attend the Nurse Meetings if they take place face to face. If bursaries are available these will be promoted on the Events listing page where full guidance details and an appplication form can be found.
Gastrointestinal Nursing’s Liver Nursing Supplement - Sign Up
Gastrointestinal Nursing’s Liver Nursing Supplement is a leading UK journal for nurses working in gastroenterology and hepatology. It publishes a liver nurse supplement twice a year.
Sign up for a copy of the supplement today by downloading and completing the form below:
Your consent is needed to share your name and postal address with the Mark Allen Group who produce and post out the supplements. Completed forms should be emailed back to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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
|BLNA Chair||Michelle Clayton, University of Leeds|
|Committee Member||Sarah Fairclough, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals|
|Committee Member||Lynda Greenslade, Lead Nurse Specialist Practice in Hepatology, Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust|
|Committee Member||Gemma Botterill, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham|
|Committee Member||Liz Farrington, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro|
|Committee Member||Adrian Jugdoyal, Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University|
|Committee Member||Dianne Backhouse, Hepatology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust|
|Committee Member||Ricky Gellissen, Hepatitis Clinical Nurse Specialist, Imperial College London|
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.
Sarah Fairclough, Liver Nurse Specialist, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Sarah Fairclough BSc (Hons), independent Non-medical prescriber is the Lead Liver nurse specialist at Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital. She has worked within Gastroenterology and Hepatology for the 16 years. She has a specialist interest in decompensated cirrhosis and its long term management including, improving quality of life and end of life care. She also has a keen and active interest in research and service development.
Lynda Greenslade, Lead Nurse Specialist Practice in Hepatology, Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Lynda is a liver nurse with a long relationship of working with patients and their families with liver disease. She was first hooked as a student nurse at the Royal Free working on the liver unit which was a mad house, interesting but busy. After a spell on orthopaedics she went back as a staff nurse because she missed the buzz of livers. After a quick detour into Intensive care at The Middlesex Hospital she ended up back at the Liver Unit at the Royal Free. Since then she has been a ward sister, a research nurse working mainly in portal hypertension. In her current role she is a lead nurse specialist practice in hepatology managing a team of hepatology nurses and in her clinics she mainly looks after patients with the complications of liver disease, stable cirrhotic’s and haemochromatosis. Currently she is working on a project with the Marie Curie Palliative Care team and hepatology to try and improve end of life care for patients with end stage liver disease. She is also a committee member of the RCN Gastroenterology Forum and enjoys teaching both in the clinical area, at conferences and university. The Royal Free has recently developed a university sponsored liver course.
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.
Liz Farrington, Consultant Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro
Liz has worked for Hepatology services at the Royal Cornwall Hospital since 2003, having a well-established role as Consultant Nurse, with an extensive portfolio across education, research, leadership, consultancy, and clinical expertise. Prior to moving to Cornwall she held a variety of nursing positions around the UK, but specifically developed an interest in Hepatology whilst working in New Zealand.
Liz has been involved with a number of national strategic projects, working with the Department of Health, Public Health England, NHS England, Health Education England and the Lancet. She is passionately committed to the patient journey, with a keen interest in service development, stakeholder involvement and partnership working across primary and secondary care services. She has recently been successful in gaining a post as Clinical Director and is looking forward to new challenges ahead.
Adrian Jugdoyal, Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University
Adrian currently works as a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University. He is a dual qualified nurse and was an Advanced Nurse Practitioner within Acute Medicine, Specialist Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Addictions. He was also the Lead Nurse for Hepatology and Alcohol Services within a large trust in London.
He was originally introduced into viral hepatology where he ran blood borne virus clinic two decades ago screening patients for HBV and HCV. His interest in liver health moved into working with individuals with alcohol and drug-related issues in a variety of community and inpatient settings, where he has been involved in developing Clinical Pathways and National Guidance for the screening of both physical and mental health problems.
Adrian is passionate about improving care to those patients with alcohol-related liver disease. He has been involved in the recent NICE guidelines for ‘Alcoholic Hepatitis’, ‘Alcohol-use disorders: diagnosis and management of physical complications.’ as well as the RCEM ‘Alcohol Toolkit’. He was also involved in the James Lind Institute and the National Institute of Health Research for priority setting for the management of liver disease.
Adrian is also the current President of the International Nurses Society in Addictions (UK Chapter) and is also involved with them internationally. He has taken a specialist lead in physical health assessments for those patients with addiction and liver problems. Adrian is also on the Educational Committee of the Medical Council of Alcohol and is on the editorial panel for GIN. He has presented both nationally and internationally about competencies for nurses looking after patients with acute and alcoholic liver disease.
Dianne Backhouse - Hepatology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust
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.
Ricky Gellissen - RGN, LLM, Independent Non-Medical Prescriber, Hepatology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Imperial College London
Ricky had a long background in palliative and acute HIV care before he transitioned from an HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist to the first dedicated HIV and Hepatitis Co-infection Clinical Nurse Specialist role in England. He developed that role supported by Hepatology, working as the principle nursing liaison between the HIV and Hepatology departments which led to an expanded interest in Hepatology, and to transferring to a Hepatology Clinical Nurse Specialist post.
As the only independent non-medical prescriber on the Liver Unit at the time he was ideally positioned to develop the Nurse Led Hepatitis B clinic. Under consultant guidance he expanded his prescribing practice beyond viral hepatitis and jointly managed patients with Wilson’s disease.
He has been involved for the past decade in the development of the FibroScan Service within Hepatology, adapting the service to provide short interventional therapy Real Time FibroScan for the NASH and NAFLD clinic, and an innovative bespoke service for the Wharfside HIV clinic with Real Time FibroScan to assist in monitoring HIV and liver related conditions.
He is currently working with for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICNHT) lead clinicians in Endocrinology and Hepatology on developing the role of specialist nursing services within NASH /NAFLD.
He holds a Master of Laws in Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights. Prior to his Masters he had been active locally within the Royal College of Nursing both as an RCN Representative and in local branch posts as Public Relations Officer and Branch Secretary. He ceased his RCN activity whilst studying for his Masters, and after his Masters he has subsequently held a 2 year stint as Co-Chair for ICHNT Clinical Nurse Specialist Forum and more recently served 5 years on the National HIV Nurses Association Executive Committee, including chairing the NHIVNA Blood Borne Virus Working Group, a collaborative group between NHIVNA and the British Association for the Study of the Liver Nursing Forum.