Hepatology outpatient service provision in secondary care: A study of liver disease incidence and resource costs

Simon Whalley, Prasanthi Puvanachandra, Atman Desai, Hugh Kennedy

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This paper discusses the annual incidence of liver disease and resource costs in providing a hepatology service for all new outpatient referrals to a secondary care setting. In a retrospective study, we found that 200 patients (1 in 1,000 of the West Suffolk population) with a mean age of 52 years were referred per year. One-third of patients had cirrhosis (almost half due to alcohol). Annual incidence (per 100,000 population) were as follows: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (29: of which 23.5 non-cirrhotic and 5.5 cirrhotic), hepatitis C (25), hepatitis B (3), alcohol-related cirrhosis (12.5), primary biliary cirrhosis (3.5), autoimmune hepatitis (3), primary sclerosing cholangitis (2), haemochromatosis (2), hepatocellular carcinoma (1.5) and oesophageal variceal haemorrhage (6.5). Using national indicative tariffs, the total annual hepatology budget was £130K (£58K for resources and £72K for clinic attendances). The greatest resource expenditure was on endoscopy (almost half for oesophageal varices) and radiological imaging (one-third of the total budget). These findings will help inform commissioners in hepatology service funding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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