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Trust scoops top award for work with English prisons

The Hepatitis C Trust has been recognised by the healthcare communications industry for its work with English prisons.

The Trust with Principle Consulting won the 'Excellence in Communications - Payers/Policymakers' award for securing opt-out hepatitis C testing in all prisons in England.

This highly successful public health policy campaign sought to improve health outcomes for prisoners across England and reduce health inequalities in access to hepatitis C testing and treatment, by securing a policy commitment to opt-out hepatitis C testing in all English prisons.

The campaign resulted in a National Partnership Agreement between the National Offender Management Service, NHS England & Public Health England to introduce opt-out testing for BBVs (hepatitis C, hepatitis B & HIV) in prisons from April 2014.

Pictured: Jim Conneely (left), Neil Cowan, (centre right) & Kris Bramwell (right) being presented with the award.

Communique awards

This policy change, secured as a result of our extensive communication with politicians and policymakers, will have a significant impact in identifying cases of previously undiagnosed hepatitis C. It will therefore impact significantly on reducing the prevalence of hepatitis C and thus mortality from hepatitis C and liver disease more broadly both in and outside prison walls.

The judges said:"This campaign achieved a clear goal of getting hepatitis C testing into the prison population. The judges were particularly impressed with the determination to tackle an area of high stigma, but low policymaker priority, and by the partnerships formed with the new NHS structures and the prison authorities."

Elsewhere, The Trust's Talk, Test, Treat roadshow campaign, a tour of high prevalent areas in the run up to World Hepatitis Day 2013 was a finalist in the Excellence in Public Health Communications category.

The Communiqué awards were held on Thursday 3rd July at Grosvenor House Hotel on London's Park Lane.