The Access to Treat in the Community (ATTIC) study is being carried out in the Public Health specialty and is just one of hundreds of studies carried out in South London.
The research is targeted at testing and treating homeless people in areas where infections rates of Hepatitis C (HCV) are highly prevalent. This trial will support NHS England’s ambition to eliminate HCV as a public health threat in England by 2025. The World Health Organisation’s global goal is 2030.
A HCV testing and treatment van, run by King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the Hepatitis C Trust, roves around south-east London hostels and community services to locate patients.
If a patient tests positive for HCV, they will receive treatment from the healthcare team working from the van. Researchers are using tablet antiviral drug Zepatier to treat those with a genotype 1 or 4 HCV infection, which works by stopping the virus from multiplying. Those found to have a different genotype access standard NHS Treatment.
Professor Geoff Dusheiko, Consultant Hepatologist at King’s College Hospital and a Senior Investigator working on the ATTIC study, said: “Offering the option of curative Hepatitis C treatment to homeless patients within this study demonstrates how research should be available to everyone, and can also be transformative for patient care. I have seen this first hand and it is immensely rewarding.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has given his support to the trial. He said:
“If left untreated, this virus can be extremely damaging but, once diagnosed, it can be managed quickly and effectively, enabling patients to make a full recovery.
“This is why I’m urging all Londoners in high-risk groups or those who might be experiencing symptoms of Hepatitis C to get tested.
“Every Londoner deserves access to quality healthcare and this testing van offers a way to reach some of our most vulnerable communities. Working in partnership across the capital we want to ensure nobody is left behind and to strive together to eliminate HCV in London.”
CRN South London Co-Clinical Director Dr Kosh Agarwal, who is also a Chief Investigator for the ATTIC study at King’s College Hospital, said: “The support received from CRN South London has been critical in facilitating our multidisciplinary team to deliver this complex, interventional, out of hospital study.”
Read the full ATTIC article here.
You can read about the EPACS study here.
You can also read more news on research across South London here.
Find out about the impact of NIHR research nationally here.