The WWL Way
Telephone: 01942 244 000

Hepatitis C Specialist Service

What is the Hepatitis C Specialist Service?

The service treats patients from across the Wigan Borough, who have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C. The Team is part of WWL’s Gastroenterology Department and is led by Dr Banait, one of our Consultant Gastroenterologists.
There is not a vaccine for Hepatitis C.

The primary goal of treatment, which is administered by the Team at WWL,is to eliminate the virus and cure the patient. Unfortunately treatment does not cure hepatitis C in 100% of cases. New treatments are currently in development that will improve cure rates. 

What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that mainly infects the cells of the liver. This can result in inflammation and significant damage to the liver. It can also affect the liver’s ability to perform its essential functions. Recent research has also found that the virus affects a number of other areas of the body; including the digestive system, the immune system, lymphatic system and the brain.

Who is at Risk?
The virus can be contracted in a number of ways for example:

  • Intravenous drug use is the main route of transmission. The sharing of any equipment can put somebody at risk of exposure; even it was one time many years ago
  • Those who “snort” drugs (due to thin membranes in the nose)
  • Unregulated suppliers for tattoos or piercings, if unsterile equipment used
  • Poor sterilisationof medical equipment in some health-care settings and use of unscreened blood and blood products
  • Sharing products such as razors and toothbrushes with someone infected by the disease
  • It is possible for an infected mother to pass the virus onto her baby
  • Sexual transmission is relatively low, although some sexual practices carry a higher risk

More information on those most at risk visit: http://www.hepctrust.org.uk/

Symptoms
Hepatitis C is often referred to as the “Silent Epidemic” as in some cases there are no symptoms and where symptoms are present they can be put down to other illness. Symptoms include, depression, fatigue, skin problems, insomnia, pain and digestive disorders.

The initial infections state (acute state) which lasts six months may not have any noticeable symptoms. The Chronic (long term) stage varies dramatically from person to person.Sometimes there are no or few symptoms for over a decade, but others may experience symptoms straight away. Some people will develop fibrosis and cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer or end stage liver disease, while others experience very little liver damage, even after many years.

How do I make an Appointment?
Referrals can be taken from GPs or via hospital healthcare professionals (if diagnosed whilst in hospital).

If attending the Community Drug and Alcohol Recovery, referrals are accepted from the healthcare team.

Clinic Details:

By appointment only

Mon PM -  Leigh Infirmary, Area 1
Tue AM -  TLC, Suite 2
Wed AM -  Leigh, Area 2
Fri PM  -  TLC, Suite 2

Service contact details:
Office No. 01942 778532

Other Useful Websites Include:

http://www.infohep.org/   
http://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/