Outreach clinic plan to help liver patients across Norfolk

Presentation of the new Fibroscan device at the N&N hospital. Photo: Bill Smith

Presentation of the new Fibroscan device at the N&N hospital. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

A support group has outlined its plans to set up a new outreach clinic at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to help liver patients.

The Norfolk and Norwich Liver Group was set up 21 years ago by nurse Ruth Perfitt, who received a liver transplant after being diagnosed with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC).

Members of the support group now hope to provide more help to new patients diagnosed with liver disease and their families. Committee members are liaising with the Addenbrooke's Liver Transplant Association to set up the outreach clinic at the N&N.

Marjorie Dingle, secretary of the liver group, said eight of their members had volunteered to staff the clinic at the gastroenterology department of the N&N. Specialist liver consultants from Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge hold bi-monthly clinics at the Norfolk hospital. She added that it would be 'wonderful' to set up the outreach clinic.

'We do not want to pry into patients privacy and we do not want to intrude. We want to be there to help in anyway and if they need us,' she said.

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Last year a new fibroscan machine was unveiled at the N&N after the Norfolk and Norwich Liver Group raised £77,500 in eight months to buy the new equipment.

Mrs Perfitt said liver patients needed a Big C centre equivalent to give information and support into conditions that are not commonly talked about.

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'Because it is not an emotive subject like heart disease or cancer, it is not something that patients can bring up readily. So many of the diseases are not alcohol-related and patients immediately feel isolated. There is tremendous benefits to show a liver transplant can make you completely well again,' she said.

The liver group will be holding the first of its 2013 events on February 18 from 1.30pm with a talk about medication and its side effects by pharmacist Portia Jackson at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

For more information about the liver group, visit www.norfolkliverfibroscanappeal.org.uk or email marjorie.dingle@hotmail.com

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