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What is the role for community pharmacy in identifying and referring people with undiagnosed hepatitis C directly to secondary care? (TWIGGMU19SF)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

In order to meet the WHO directive to eliminate Hepatitis1, and in line with national priorities2, hepatitis C services in England face significant challenges to diagnose the 200,000 patients in the UK expected to have hepatitis C but not under specialist care2. In addition, there are challenges in getting more diagnosed individuals into care to allow curative treatment to be administered.

Studies in the UK have showed that community pharmacies have the potential to increase the number of patients tested for hepatitis C3 and provide adequate supervision of treatment4. As novel schemes by hepatitis C services look to move treatment into a primary care setting, it is likely that community pharmacies in England will be targeted to provide enhanced services, similar to those in Scotland, where dispensing is already completed by community pharmacies through the “shifting the balance of care” scheme.

This PhD project will run for three years at which point the project would have explored this concept to enough depth to enable an application to the NIHR to be made for feasibility testing leading to a full RCT. The PhD may focus on some or all of the following areas of interest:

1. Systematic review of the literature on the community pharmacists role in identifying/referring/treating hepatitis C

2. Exploration of patient experiences in relation to identification of hep C and the perceived role for community pharmacies

3. Community pharmacist’s views on training and ongoing support required to deliver this type of service

4. Development of a model for community pharmacy provision of hep C identification and feasibility testing of small components e.g. training.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

Type of programme: PhD

Project start date: October 2019

Mode of study: Full time

Entry requirements: Acceptable first degree - Pharmacy, Health Psychology, other health degree.
The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Deadline for applications: 31 May 2019

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


1. World Health Organisation (2016). Combating Hepatitis C and B to reach elimination by 2030. Geneva: WHO Press.

2. Public Health England (2017). Hepatitis C in the UK, 2017 Report. London: PHE publications.

3. Buchanan R, Hassan-Hicks P, Noble K et al. (2016) Integrating community pharmacy testing for hepatitis C with specialist care. Clin Pharm 2016;8(8).

4. Marra F, Datta S, Priest M et al. (2007) Introduction of directly observed community pharmacy dispensing of directing acting antivirals achieves high sustained viral response rates in a difficult to treat cohort. J Hepatol 2016;64 (2):S766.

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