New plan to reduce deaths from liver disease in Wales unveiled

11 Nov 2014 01:45 PM

A consultation on a new plan to reduce the number of people who die each year from liver disease in Wales has been launched by Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething.

Deaths in Wales from chronic liver disease have more than doubled in the last 20 years. Obesity, alcohol misuse and blood borne viral hepatitis are contributing to the development of liver disease in Wales. But cases of liver disease as a result of these three causes are almost entirely preventable.

The draft 'Together For Health – Liver Disease Delivery Plan',  one of the set of national service delivery plans, is about how the Welsh Government and NHS Wales will develop and improve services for people with liver disease in Wales.

The draft plan sets out the Welsh Government’s expectations for NHS Wales and its partners in delivering high-quality care, ensuring patients have the right care at the right time, delivering efficiency and effectiveness, tackling variation in access and reducing inequalities.

It provides the guidance and standards NHS Wales will need to follow to ensure patients receive excellent care, whether through prevention, timely diagnosis, appropriate treatment or continuing support.

This draft delivery plan outlines a vision where:

Mr Gething said:

“As with a number of other health conditions, the way we lead our lives has an impact on whether we will develop liver disease.  Excessive alcohol consumption continues to be the biggest cause of liver disease in Wales.  

“The Welsh Government will continue to take action to help positively influence people’s lifestyles. As outlined in the recent Public Health White Paper, we are exploring legislating to curb excessive alcohol consumption by introducing a 50p minimum unit price for alcohol.

“At the same time we want to help people be aware of these risks in their own lives and encourage people to take responsibility for their actions and shaping their own health.  

“The prudent healthcare approach means that we all have to be jointly involved in minimising avoidable harm. By paying better and more careful attention to our own health, we can often avoid causing damage.

“This consultation is an opportunity for everyone affected to express their views.  Informed by this, the final plan will be published in April 2015.  

"I look forward to seeing the improvements this plan will help us realise over time.”