The Hepatitis Queensland Community Corrections Project is a one stop-shop hepatitis C clinic rolled out at selected Community Corrections District Offices. The model offers brief intervention, testing including FibroScan and phlebotomy, and treatment for those transitioning from the prison space back into the community.
A key challenge facing people leaving prison is the effective linkage to health services in the community. This sometimes includes the transfer of health records and medications and can be a difficult time for people trying to re-establish health care. Initiatives to provide continuity of hepatitis C treatment for prisoners on release from correctional centres is essential yet providing uninterrupted continuity of care in the community is challenging.
Hepatitis Queensland has launched a pilot clinic at Redlands Community Corrections with the goal of providing people who report to community corrections with easy access to hepatitis C testing and lifesaving medical treatment. A unique aspect of this model is that the clinic operates onsite so people who are already reporting or attending a mandatory appointment can also access the clinic on the spot. Many people have known risk factors, have a history of incarceration or are known to be living with hepatitis C but due to various barriers, have not been able to access testing or treatment.
The free monthly clinic operates as a one stop shop for people who report to community corrections with testing and treatment facilitated over two appointments.
Blood test, Fibroscan (to check for liver stiffness) and a chat with the GP
Patient returns for their results. If the test is positive the patient will be given a script to commence treatment.
Including an onsite hepatitis C clinic at community correction district offices has provided a direct pathway to access testing and treatment and supports people’s willingness to engage in care.
The coordination of health services and community providers promotes positive re-entry outcomes and produced benefits beyond an individual’s health.
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