Integrating Primary and Secondary Care to optimise hepatitis C treatment: development and evaluation of a multidisciplinary educational ‘Masterclass’ series

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019


In Ireland and the EU, chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection is responsible for a considerable health and economic burden. It is increasingly being recognised that addressing this global challenge requires effective cooperation between primary and secondary care and multidisciplinary approaches to care. As part of a project to integrate primary and secondary care for patients at risk of, or infected with HCV (‘Heplink’), we developed a Multidisciplinary Educational Masterclass Series for healthcare professionals working in primary care.



Participants were recruited from local general practice, NGOs and Addiction Treatment Services


34 healthcare professionals attended the Masterclass Series.




100% of participants ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that the Masterclass helped them ‘appreciate the role of primary care’ and ‘secondary care’ in ‘the management of patients with HCV’ as well as ‘describing new approaches to assessment (Fibroscan)’ (96-100%) and ‘treatment’ (85-96%) of patients with HCV. In regards to making an integrated model of care happen in practice, 100% of participants indicated the importance of a ‘desginated nurse to liaise with hospital services’ and that ‘educational programmes’ (91-100%) and ‘computerised-decision making’ (88-92%) would be also be of value.


This paper highlights the potential importance of integrated approaches to healthcare in optimising hepatitis C care in the community and identifies strategies that can enhance effective implementation.


Dr Geoff McCombe1, 2, Ms Bashayer Almaazmi1, Dr John S. Lambert1, 2, Ms Gordana Avramovic 2, Ms Carol Murphy2, Ms Mairead O’Connor2, Ms Nicola Perry3 , Prof Walter Cullen1, 2 1 UCD School of Medicine 2 Centre for Infectious Diseases Research, Catherine McAuley Centre, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital 3Community Response primary alcohol and hepatitis C service, Dublin

Conflicts of interest:

Funding Sources: n/a

no conflict of interest

Dr Geoff McCombe