Forensicare wins 2019 Hepatitis Victoria Organisational Collaboration AwardZoe Simmons
Earlier this week, Forensicare was announced as the winner of Hepatitis Victoria’s 2019 Organisational Collaboration award.
The award recognises health organisations that make a significant impact to reducing the prevalence of hepatitis in Victoria, while maximising the well-being of those living with viral hepatitis. The award also recognises collaboration with Hepatitis Victoria.
“This is a fantastic, well-deserved recognition of our Infection Prevention and Control team,” CEO Margaret Grigg said.
The award was accepted by Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Consultant Lynne Nicholas, who had been working on the project for the past three years.
“It’s been quite a journey,” Lynne said. “To have our achievements recognised externally is really rewarding.”
Hepatitis is a serious problem, affecting an estimated 325 million people worldwide. And statisticaly, those in custody have a higher prevalence rate. People entering prisons are up to 28 times more likely to test positive to hepatitis C than the general population.
Our goal, therefore, was to remove any barriers to treatment for hepatitis in Thomas Embling Hospital, and improve the health of our patient population.
How we improved the lives of our consumers living with hepatitis C
Firstly, we successfully applied to administer specialised medication to treat hepatitis in our consumers. Without this treatment, the risk of progression, as well as other health problems, drastically increases, as well as the increased associated risk of premature death.
Education and training our staff about hepatitis
Creating a hepatitis-aware workforce is key to supporting our consumers.
We provided educational sessions for our staff, covering information about hepatitis, transmission risks, testing, as well as treatments available for patients. Utilising the skills of our communications team, we also regularly promote hepatitis and its treatment through stories, posters, and regular educational sessions.
In collaboration with St Vincent’s Hospital, we also established a Hep C Treatment Team, which responds to requests from patients without fear of discrimination. We also regularly consulted with patients through our Consumer Advisory Group, with the aim of treating, educating and destigmatising hepatitis C to empower our patients to make their own decisions about treatment options.
Congratulations to our incredible Infection and Prevention Control team for this amazing achievement!