GPs urged to do more for hep B risk

GPs can do more to help protect patients against hepatitis B, claims the British Liver Trust.

A survey of 200 UK practices found only half followed Green Book guidelines for vaccinating at-risk patients.

At-risk patients include those who travel to areas of high disease prevalence, injecting drug users, people who change sexual partners frequently, haemophiliacs and renal patients.

A quarter of practices said they waited for patients to admit to high-risk behaviour before offering vaccination.

The survey also found that one in 10 practices did not think it was beneficial to vaccinate injecting drug users.

Reasons for not offering the vaccine included perceived low risk and time constraints.

Alison Rogers, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said: 'We urge GPs to offer the vaccine and ensure patients see through the course of three injections and follow-up test.'

British Liver Trust survey 2008

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