Service provision for liver disease in the UK: a national questionnaire-based survey.
The National Plan for Liver Services in 2009 called for a review of current liver services across the UK to identify areas of good and poor provision. We present the results of a national questionnaire survey of liver services, which focussed on staffing and training, access to key facilities and clinical management of liver disease. Areas of good practice include the increased proportion of consultants who trained at a liver centre, the introduction of specific liver clinics and the widespread use of terlipressin and antibiotics for variceal bleeding. Areas of poor practice include limited access to alcohol psychiatry services and transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) and limited recording of outcome measures or patient databases. Wide variation in the clinical management of serious liver diseases supports the need for managed clinical networks. These results will help to guide the development of standards of care for liver services across the UK.