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Read the advice for managing patients with PBC who are unresponsive to UDCA below.
Following the Clinical Consensus on HCV Therapies 2017 meeting held in Birmingham on 30th June 2017, the BVHG/BASL/BSG/BHIVA/BIA/CVN Guidelines for management of chronic HCV infection report is now available to download.
Just days before the UK Supreme Court hears a case to decide whether introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol is legal, a survey published today shows that cheap, strong alcohol continues to be sold for pocket money prices up and down the country.
One year ago, a survey of alcohol prices across the UK found an abundance of cheap drinks being sold in shops and supermarkets, with high-strength cider available at the lowest prices.
A follow up review carried out this month in England, Scotland and Wales has found that these cheap prices remain largely unchanged, with products across the market still falling well below the 50p per unit mark recommended by health and alcohol bodies.
Both price reviews were carried out by the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA), a group of medical royal colleges, alcohol organisations and health bodies. In this year’s review, the AHA found that cider continued to be sold at the lowest prices overall, with 3-litre bottles of 7.5% ABV cider (containing the equivalent of 22 shots of vodka) moving from £3.49 in 2016 to just £3.59 in 2017 (or 16p per unit).
At that price, for the cost of a small latte in Starbucks it is possible to buy more alcohol than the weekly recommended limit of alcohol.
The cheapest wine surveyed in 2016 was found to be even cheaper in 2017, and available for just 31p per unit.
Cheap, high-strength alcohol is known to be predominantly drunk by the most vulnerable groups, including children and the homeless, and a minimum unit price for alcohol of 50p per unit was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2012, only to be held up by a legal challenge from sections of the alcohol industry. The Welsh government recently announced it will legislate for minimum unit pricing, and the Northern Ireland Executive has also expressed its desire to implement the policy.
The AHA said that today’s figures provide yet more evidence for the need for minimum unit pricing to be introduced across the UK.
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA), said:
“It is frankly unacceptable that it is possible to buy enough alcohol to exceed the new recommended alcohol guidelines for the price of a high street coffee. We need minimum unit pricing for alcohol so that the damage being done by the cheapest products to the most vulnerable in society can be brought to an end. We hope and expect that following the hearing on minimum unit pricing next week, Scotland will be given the green light to introduce the policy.
“With the recent announcement that the Welsh government also intends to legislate for minimum pricing, and a previous commitment to MUP from the Northern Ireland Executive, it is imperative that the UK government now legislates for MUP, so that England does not get left behind the rest of the UK. The Westminster government expressed its intention to introduce minimum pricing five years ago, but has still not delivered on this commitment.
“The evidence is clear – minimum unit pricing would save lives, reduce hospital admissions and cut crime. In addition, it would disproportionately benefit the poorest groups. Studies show that 8 out of 10 lives saved through minimum pricing would come from the lowest income groups.
“With alcohol-related hospital admissions at record highs, and liver disease rates on the rise, we can’t afford for alcohol to remain at such low prices.”
For further information, please contact Matt Chorley, the AHA’s Policy and Communications Officer, at email@example.com or on 0203 075 1726.
NICE are looking for experts on Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups: promoting health and preventing premature mortality to join our Quality Standards Advisory Committee (QSAC).
• GP working with Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities
• Health inequalities lead from Clinical Commissioning Group/Local Authority with a focus on ethnicity
• Community nurse working with Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities
• Public Health consultant with a focus on ethnicity and health inequalities
• Local authority commissioner with experience of commissioning services for Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups
Information on the posts is available on the NICE website here.
The deadline for applications is 4 August 2017 at 17.00.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and NHS R&D Forum launches its new report Research for all: Sharing good practice in research management.
Following the publication of Research for all by the RCP in 2016 this follow up report outlines the conditions needed to support research directors, managers, clinical and non-clinical staff and, ultimately, patients.
By way of over 50 case studies the report builds upon the recommendations for collaboration and provides real world examples of good practice to inspire both doctors and researchers alike.
The examples of good practice from NHS organisations around the country aim to help build the knowledge base for all involved in research. By recognising and addressing barriers to pursuing research, the report encourages both doctors and R&D departments to underpin research as a core activity and demonstrate how it is everyone’s responsibility.
For more information please the RCP https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/ .
The tenure of the current BASL Trainee Representative will come to an end in September 2017. As such, BASL are now seeking expressions of interest for the position.
To apply for the position you must be a BASL Medically Qualified Member in Training and hold a national training number (NTN). The position is open to all trainees who are at least 24 months pre-CCT from September 2017.
The Trainee Representative will serve on the BASL Committee for a maximum of 2 years. They are expected to comment on all issues pertaining to training to ensure that trainee views are heard, to ensure that the annual meeting and schools of Hepatology meet trainees needs and in addition to attend BASL Committee meetings (face to face or teleconference) as well as the Annual Meeting. A working knowledge of Twitter is desirable and a strong link with the BSG trainee representative is helpful.
Please send your expressions of interest to the BASL Secretariat at Judith@execbs.com by the deadline of 17:00 Monday 17 July.
Emails should clearly have as the subject: BASL Trainee Representative Post 2017.
Candidates wishing to be considered for the post are required to provide a short personal statement containing no more than approx. 250 words explaining why you want to be the BASL Trainee Representative and what relevant skills or training you have. The personal statement should accompany your expressions of interest email where possible.
A panel comprising of three BASL committee members will review and score the applications to select the successful applicant.
The new Trainee Representative will take up their position at the next Business Meeting of the Association during the Annual Meeting in September 2017.
If you require any further information please contact Judith@execbs.com .
NICE focuses on improving treatment and diagnosis of liver disease.
People who drink too much should be sent for scans to detect early liver disease, says NICE.
Almost 1.9 million harmful drinkers in England could be sent for scans for cirrhosis by their GPs to detect disease early so treatment and lifestyle changes are more effective.
The final quality standard advises GPs to send people for scans for cirrhosis if men are drinking more than 50 units per week or 22 pints and women are drinking more than 35 units per week or 3 ½ bottles of wine.
You can view the final quality standard by clicking > here.
Access to the two recommended tests, transient elastography and acoustic radiation force impulse imaging is currently varied across England, whilst the first is available in at least 120 UK hospitals, the latter is a newer technology that is not as widespread.
Since draft, NICE has updated this standard to reflect that significant changes are needed to implement this guidance, such as a redesign of services or buying new equipment.
Read the full article on the NICE website > here.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is looking to appoint a number of people with the necessary experience and skills to fulfill the following roles:
• Appeal panel chair
• Lay member
The appeal panel is responsible for hearing appeals against our draft final recommendations in the technology appraisal (new drugs and other technologies used in the NHS) and highly specialised technologies (the evaluation of technologies for treating patients with very rare diseases and very complex healthcare needs) programmes. When an appeal is submitted an appeal panel comprising five members is drawn from those appointed to hear NICE appeals.
Appeal panel chairs must either:
• currently provide healthcare in the NHS or public health service, or
• be a patient or carer, or a member of an organisation that represents patients or carers.
The lay representative must be a patient or carer, or a member of an organisation that represents patients or carers.
Appointees will need to be able to understand the process and methods NICE uses to appraise new health technologies and to critically assess the arguments put forward by companies, professional groups and patient organisations appealing against our guidance. In addition, chairs must demonstrate the personal qualities necessary to organise, lead and control a setting in which sometimes complex arguments are presented and challenged. Appeal panels are established infrequently and appointees may only need to sit on a panel two to three times a year.
NICE would welcome applicants from all interested parties. For further information on the role and how apply please refer to the NICE website: https://www.nice.org.uk/Get-Involved/join-a-committee . Alternatively you can contact Maria Pitan, Project Manager – Corporate Office by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 17 July 2017.
The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has officially launched its new exemplar liver accreditation programme, Improving Quality in Liver Services (IQILS), led by Dr James Ferguson, clinical lead for the programme.
Born out of the successful LiverQuest pilot project, IQILS is supported by the British Association for the Study of the Liver (BASL) and the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) and has been shaped in partnership with the wider liver community, professional bodies, societies and patient groups.
Having taken learning and recommendations from the original LiverQuest pilot, the new accreditation scheme, will support liver services to deliver high-quality care for patients.
IQILS is open to all liver services across the UK, enabling them invaluable access to a new online tool, expertise and up to date guidance on improving standards and enhancing patient experience.
Thanks to the kind support of BASL, some services may also be eligible for an early bird discount.
For more details regarding the scheme, how to sign up, and discount eligibility, information can be found at www.iqils.org .
Alternatively, contact Madeline Corrigan, IQILS Programme Manager at the RCP at email@example.com .
We are pleased to announce that the liver disease quality standard (QS152) has been published on the NICE website today.
You can view the quality standard by clicking > here.
BASL has formally supported the liver disease quality standard.