The HSE National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme (NHCTP) is looking to establish a pilot online hepatitis C testing service. The service would be integrated with existing public treatment sites, according to tender documents.
The aim of the project is to improve access to hepatitis C testing in treatment sites through the availability of free home testing via an online system. As reported by the Medical Independent last month, the HSE plans to commence home testing for hepatitis C in the first quarter of 2022.
The proposed system should facilitate the online ordering of hepatitis C tests and provide clinical governance, results management, and remote clinical support to service users. The NHCTP will establish a steering group comprising representatives from the programme and relevant partners to support and oversee the service’s initiation and progression.
The NHCTP will confirm the number of treatment sites in agreement with the online provider and the project working group after the tender has been awarded. It is expected that the successful online service provider would be an experienced provider of “online hepatitis C health services with appropriately qualified staff”.
The project should be led by a senior registered medical doctor, with appropriate qualifications and experience. “The remainder of the team are expected to hold a relevant degree in medicine, nursing and midwifery or other relevant discipline,” according to the tender. The provider would be expected to ensure secure mechanisms for interaction with treatment sites, sharing patient data, and referral mechanisms.
While the geographical locations and treatment sites will be later confirmed by the HSE, tenderers should give consideration as to how geographical restrictions could be applied to the treatment site areas. The provider would also be required to establish a system for ordering and delivery of hepatitis C tests and establish partnerships with laboratories. The deadline for response to the tender is 17 November.