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Everyone in: hepatitis C screening for rough sleepers accommodated during the COVID-19 pandemic in Somerset, England
  1. Katharine Hutchison1,
  2. Anna Page1,
  3. Samuel Hayward2
  1. 1 Gastrointestinal and Liver Services, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Taunton, UK
  2. 2 Public Health, North Somerset Council, Clevedon, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katharine Hutchison, Gastroenterology, Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton TA1 5DA, UK; katharine.hutchison{at}

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WHO is aiming for the eradication of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) as a global health threat by 2030. However, concerns have been raised about how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect eradication efforts.1

One long-standing barrier to achieving the WHO goals is the high prevalence of HCV in marginalised populations.2 Homelessness is a significant risk factor for HCV infection in the UK, with chronic prevalence in this group estimated at 29%.3 Homeless people diagnosed with HCV infection are also less likely to complete treatment. The reasons for this are complex, but involve mistrust of medical services, inflexibility of secondary care pathways and geographic mobility.4

During the COVID-19 pandemic, homeless people across Somerset were housed in temporary accommodation through the national ‘Everyone in’ initiative. This provided a unique opportunity for eradication efforts by reducing the geographic mobility of this population, and provided a setting in which HCV patients could be managed. In this letter, we describe a targeted multidisciplinary programme to identify and …

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  • Contributors KH contributed to the design of study protocol, literature review and was the main author of the manuscript. AP contributed to the design of the study protocol, intervention design and delivery, data collection and collation. SH contributed to the design of the study protocol, literature review, analysis of results and provided project coordination. All authors approved the final version to be published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.