A new clinic to tackle liver disease is to be launched in Fleetwood.

Concerned about the high and rising rates of liver disease in the town, GPs have come together to develop the community clinics service which will provide more appointments within the community and reduce the number of people needing to travel to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

It is believed the service will reduce the number of people suffering from liver failure by identifying disease earlier on and providing support and treatment at an earlier stage.

Dr Mark Spencer, a GP in Fleetwood, said: “There were more than 700 hospital admissions for people in Fleetwood suffering from liver disease in 2017/18 and we really want to do something to stop this.

“Hepatitis C is a disease that can very often lead to liver failure or liver cancer and in Wyre detection rates are far too low. This new service will help us to spot hepatitis C earlier and do something about it.

“The establishment of the clinic will reduce the number of people having to go to hospital, providing high quality care which is more accessible in terms of quicker access and being closer to home within a community health setting.”

The clinic will be based at the Mount View Practice at Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre every other Friday. It will include a nurse and specialist nurse from the existing Blackpool-based service provided by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Inspire Liver Disease services, as well as a GP and clinic nurse. There will be additional support from a consultant who will continue to be based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Peter Tinson, chief operating officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are pleased to support this initiative developed by the GPs in Fleetwood.

“Offering services closer to home and in community settings is what local people told us they wanted, and this is exactly what this service will offer to the people of Fleetwood.”