§ Ms Blears
The Chief Medical Officer's strategy to combat infectious diseases, "Getting Ahead of the Curve", has called for intensified action in a number of areas including blood-borne and sexually transmitted viruses. Implementation plans for the hepatitis C strategy will be set out as part of this action plan, which will be published in the next few months.
Work has already begun on improving surveillance of hepatitis C and raising awareness amongst health care professionals.
In March 2002, the Department held four regional conferences for primary care staff, which were very well attended. It will be holding a further four conferences in March 2003. Following the conferences in March 2002, the Department published a briefing pack for health professionals, entitled "Hepatitis C: Essential Information for Professionals", which was distributed to all general practitioners and practice nurses in England.