The British Liver Trust has been funded until December 2019 to raise awareness and improve liver health in Wales. This is part of the Welsh Government’s ‘Together for Health: Liver Disease Delivery plan 2015 – 2020’, which aims to improve activity and health outcomes across six key areas:
- Preventing liver disease and promoting liver health
- Timely detection of liver disease
- Fast and effective care for those diagnosed with liver disease
- Living with liver disease
- Improving information on all liver conditions
- Research into liver disease.
In Wales we will support this by promoting liver health and highlighting the risk factors most often associated with liver disease to primary healthcare professionals and amongst the general public.
Premature deaths in Wales from chronic liver disease have more than doubled in the last 20 years. While there have been improvements in mortality from most other chronic disorders, such as stroke, heart disease, and many cancers, the number of deaths from liver disease has increased by more than 400% in people aged under 65.
Key activities we are undertaking include:
Setting up support groups – find a support group in your area.
Working with healthcare professionals in Wales, we aim to set up support groups across Wales. Many people in Wales can feel isolated when they are diagnosed, support groups enable people to meet others who understand how it feels to be affected by a liver condition and receive information and advice form experts who attend the group meetings.
The team in Wales is raising awareness across the region by holding patient and healthcare events, and distributing British Liver Trust materials. We are also running Love Your Liver events to raise awareness of the risk factors and improve early diagnosis amongs the general public – find out more about out Love Your Liver events in Wales.
Providing more support for healthcare professionals
By building links with healthcare professionals across Wales we are able to create two-way communication to improve standards of care. . By sharing information we can hear more about the concerns of healthcare professionals and their patients and use this to influence policy. We can also provide healthcare professionals across Wales with our award winning patient leaflets and materials and share examples of best practice.
General Practitioners across Wales can also access our new toolkit for general practitioners.
We have also run a free educational event for GPs in Cardiff.
Free bilingual Love Your Liver materials are available, to find out more email firstname.lastname@example.org
The team in Wales is also influencing policy makers and parliamentarians including holding events at the Senedd (National Assembly for Wales) and working with Public Health Wales. The team has effectively campaigned on Minimum Unit Pricing, providing the Welsh Government with robust evidence of the benefits of MUP and the clear and direct link between levels of excessive drinking and the availability of cheap alcohol.
Minimum Unit Pricing
The Welsh Government’s report published in May 2018 can be found here.
After successful campaigning by the Trust, the Bill for Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) of Alcohol in Wales has been given Royal Assent and the new law will allow Welsh Ministers to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol supplied in Wales. The legislation will target and aim to reduce the amount of alcohol being consumed by hazardous and harmful drinkers, whilst minimising impacts on moderate drinkers.
The new minimum pricing regime is currently expected to come into force during the summer of 2019.