The NT Primary Healthcare Network has the highest prevalence of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Australia at 1.9%. Hepatitis C can be cured; however, the NT has the second lowest proportion of people who have received treatment at 10.2%. The reasons for the low treatment uptake are multifactorial. This has led to the expansion of the NT wide Hepatitis B steering committee to extend its remit to include hepatitis C and a number of innovative partnership pilot projects. This is a nurse led model of care project which evaluates the benefit of a peer-support network in hepatitis C treatment and explores the barriers to access and completion of hepatitis C treatment in the Northern Territory (NT).

Research focus:
  • To evaluate the benefit of a community nurse, peer-based support network partnership model of hepatitis C care
  • To explore the barriers to access and completion of hepatitis C treatment in the Northern Territory
Research outputs:
  • Expanding capacity and increasing frequency of peer support led hepatitis C community clinics
  • Commencement of community nurse assisted prescribing in large bulk billing GP practices and Aboriginal Medical Services in Darwin, Alice Springs, and regional areas
  • Partnership with prison telehealth service to establish community hepatitis C nursing support and the development of systematic follow up procedures for patients on release from prison
  • Establishment of a peer-based support network to increase case finding and treatment uptake
  • Build capacity within primary health care services to manage hepatitis C
Chief investigators:
Project Manager:
  • Melita McKinnon
Senior Clinical Community Nurse:
  • Anngie Everitt