ITTREAT and VALID studies investigate the feasibility of an integrated Hepatitis C Virus service
The first study, conducted by nurse Mucha Marufu, and supervised by Sumita Verma, assessed the feasibility of undertaking blood borne virus screening at Pavilions, the largest addiction centre in Brighton, with subsequent referral to secondary care. The poor engagement with secondary care in this study highlighted the need for integrated Hepatitis C Virus services within a community setting.
Focusing on ‘one-stop’ care models, Sumita Verma and her team then conducted the ITTREAT study, investigating the feasibility of an integrated Hepatitis C Virus service at Pavilions. Community nurse Margaret O’ Sullivan, with Sumita Verma as supervisor, offered community-based Hepatitis C Virus screening/treatment and non-invasive assessment of liver scarring, working alongside addiction teams, peer mentors and social workers, and delivering a non-judgemental, personalised and holistic service.
ITTREAT was delivered in collaboration with Professor Heather Gage (University of Surrey) who led on the health economics, Dr Chrissie Jones and Professor Helen Smith (University of Brighton) who led on the qualitative analysis and Anna-Marie Jones (Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust) who led on the statistical analysis. The third study, VALID (2015– 2018), evaluated a similar model of care at homeless hostels in Brighton. The project was led by Sussex Research Fellow, Ahmed Hashim, and Verma, in collaboration with Professor Guru Aithal (University of Nottingham), Professor Stephen Bremner (University of Sussex) and Arch Healthcare, the only homeless primary care practice in Brighton.