Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service

The Advanced service is focused on provision of point of care testing for Hepatitis C antibodies to people who inject illicit drugs, but who haven't yet moved to the point of accepting treatment for their substance use

Decommissioning the National Community Pharmacy Hepatitis C (HCV) Service - From 1st April 2023

In agreement with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England will be decommissioning the national Community Pharmacy HCV Antibody Testing Service from 1 April 2023. Further information will be shared in an email to contractors providing the service.

The service aimed to increase diagnosis of Hep C and was part of the ground-breaking NHS initiative on HCV, with the NHS now set to eliminate HCV ahead of the rest of the world. Following the decommissioning of this national community pharmacy service, local pharmacies can direct people seeking testing to the Hepatitis C Trust Helpline (020 7089 6221 – Monday to Friday, 10:30am to 4:30pm).

The Service:

The Community Pharmacy Hepatitis C Antibody Testing Service officially launched on 1st September 2020, following its initial planned introduction prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Advanced focuses on people who inject drugs (PWIDs); such as steroids or heroin, but who are currently not accepting treatment for their substance use. Where people test positive for Hepatitis C antibodies, they will be referred for a confirmatory test and treatment, where appropriate.

The service is part of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s national programme to eliminate Hep C virus as a major public health threat by 2025. The service aims to use community pharmacies to target PWIDs for testing, as they are the healthcare venue most likely to be visited by that group of people.

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

Pharmacy contractors considering providing the service should first read the service specification and then consider the likely costs of providing the service and the number of PWIDs they are likely to be able to test.

To learn more about the service, please read the following PSNC website page:

Below, we have produced referenced indexes for all other important Hep C Antibody Testing Service related information, documents and resources that we have uploaded into various CPSC news articles published:

- The indexes are automatically created in date order (newest at the top)