Hepatitis C antibody testing service

The Community Pharmacy Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service was added to the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) in 2020, commencing on 1st September. The introduction of this new Advanced Service was originally trailed in the 5-year CPCF agreement, but its planned introduction in April 2020 was delayed by five months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The service is focused on provision of point of care testing (POCT) for Hepatitis C (Hep C) antibodies to people who inject drugs (PWIDs), i.e. individuals who inject illicit drugs, e.g. steroids or heroin, but who haven’t yet moved to the point of accepting treatment for their substance use. Where people test positive for Hep C antibodies, they will be referred for a confirmatory test and treatment, where appropriate.

Any pharmacy that meets the service requirements can provide the service, but it will be of most interest to contractors that provide the locally commissioned needle exchange service, with a sufficient number of clients, to make the investment in provision of the service worthwhile.

Eastern Liver Network held an introductory webinar on 2nd March, you can view the recording here.
2nd March Webinar slides

Next steps if you are interested in providing this service:

  1. Visit the PSNC Hepatitis C testing service page this page will give you all of the information needed to provide the service. Please ensure you read all the details in the Service Specification. More information about the Eastern Liver Network can be found here.
  2. Review your current needle exchange volumes to see if it will be viable for you to offer the service through your pharmacy.
  3. Sign up is through the business service authority  MYS portal and as a pharmacy in the East of England you will be able to record and refer patients electronically. DO NOT ORDER ANY TESTING KITS YET the liver network will be in touch to discuss test kits & training videos.
  4. The Liver Network will contact the pharmacy to discuss the service & turn on Pharmoutcomes service pages for you. If you do not hear from them after 2 weeks or you have any questions about the service please contact add-tr.hepatitis@nhs.net.

Local resources

Find the missing millions final version
HCV flyer 26.10.18 v2
Pharmacy poster 11.02.21