Royal Surrey engages community groups on liver health issues | News

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Royal Surrey engages community groups on liver health issues

A team of researchers from Royal Surrey has been working with community groups across Surrey, to raise awareness of liver health issues and carry out liver health-checks in the community.

The initiative, run by the Trust’s Research, Development & Innovation team, is one of a number of projects the Trust is running to deliver liver health services in community settings.

The series of workshops were attended by hundreds of people from traditionally underserved areas of our community, such as minority faith groups, minority ethnic community groups, and asylum seekers living in Surrey.

The community events, organised in partnership with Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum (SMEF), included group discussions around the common myths and misconceptions around liver health, as well as the importance of clinical research in the community.

The Royal Surrey team included Professor Aftab Ala, Consultant Hepatologist and Professional Director of Research at Royal Surrey, and Clinical Research Fellow, Dr Christopher Cussen.

The team used a portable fibroscan machine to test people’s liver for fibrosis – the hardening of the liver that can be an indication of liver disease or hepatitis. The fibroscan technology gives results also instantly, and is easily transportable, making it ideal for use in community settings.

“The number of attendees was extraordinary,” Professor Ala said. “The level of engagement among these parts of the community was very high, and it was a great privilege to meet these otherwise underserved groups of people and learn from them.

“Health and care research must include everyone in our society. Sadly many underserved groups do not engage proactively with health and care services, but through this project we have been able to make a meaningful connection with them, and hopefully give them the confidence to engage directly with health research and the NHS generally in future.”

This event was part of a series of Research in the Community events being organised by Royal Surrey in partnership with Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum, with funding from the National Institute of Health and Care Research.

  

Image: Chris Cussen scans a volunteer’s liver, looking for signs of fibrosis

 

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