Thursday, June 27, 2013

GPs given ‘key role’ in improving hepatitis B

GPs are urged to assess and refer patients with hepatitis B for specialist treatment, in new NICE guidance aimed at increasing specialist treatment for the disease.

The guidance, the first NICE has developed on diagnosis and management of hepatitis B, calls on GPs to arrange further tests for people who are found to be hepatitis B surface antigen positive, and refer them straight on to a hepatologist or gastroenterologist.

According to NICE, a recent London audit found a third of people with chronic hepatitis B infection diagnosed in primary care were not referred for specialist treatment and, despite substantial progress in treatments, the condition remains under-recognised and poorly understood.

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