A3 construction workers offered free liver health check thanks to Royal Surrey Hepatology Service and British Liver Trust | News

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A3 construction workers offered free liver health check thanks to Royal Surrey Hepatology Service and British Liver Trust

Hundreds of construction workers have been offered free liver health checks, in a measure to improve their health.

The project, run by the British Liver Trust and the Royal Surrey Hepatology Service, saw workers at the M25/A3 improvement junction tested last week.

Construction workers may have an increased risk of liver fibrosis. Working away from home, difficulty accessing healthy food choices such as fruit and vegetables and other lifestyle factors can affect the liver. General risk factors also include common things like drinking excess alcohol or carrying extra weight.

The workers had two tests; firstly looking for signs of Hepatitis C via a finger pinprick test and secondly looking for signs of fibrosis (scarring of healthy tissue) and the early signs of liver cancer, by scanning their liver with a fibro scanner.

Over the three days, 196 people were tested. Two people were found to have hepatitis C, with nine people diagnosed with either moderate or severe fibrosis. 

Julie Booth, Liver Cancer Manager based at Royal Surrey County Hospital, said: “This is all about improving the health and wellbeing of people in the community to see if we can identify early signs of liver problems and liver cancer.

“It went really well. The whole process was very well organised by both sides. The tests are very simple, quick and easy and we are very pleased with the number of people who took up the offer. The fact that we have seen some people testing positive for Hepatitis C and with moderate to severe fibrosis shows that it has all been a very worthwhile exercise.”

Howard Williams, Balfour Beatty’s project lead for the M25 junction 10/A3 improvement scheme, said: 

“Huge thanks to the team of nurses and health professionals from Royal Surrey, the Hep C Trust and the British Liver Trust. I have been pleased to see that hundreds of Balfour’s staff took up the opportunity to be tested.

“Liver fibrosis and Hepatitis C often have no symptoms to tell you that something may be wrong, so the fact that we have ruled out any issues for the majority of our colleagues but found issues in some is really positive.”

Any patients with fibrosis will be referred to their local hospital for further surveillance and potential treatment. Those found to have Hepatitis C had further blood tests and will receive follow up treatment.

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