This week we are launching our latest screening programme, to find people at risk of genetic haemochromatosis across Merseyside.

This is our largest screening programme to date. It's only possible due to the generous financial support of the Pilkington Trust, Medicash Foundation and with the support of our Friends Against Iron Overload donors.
As part of the rollout, we’ll be contacting over 23,000 households in areas of high health deprivation across Liverpool to offer a free genetic test, one per household. GPs and clinics in these areas have already been pump-primed with posters, leaflets and other resources. Elected representatives at national, regional and local ward level have also been contacted to explain the programme, what GH is and how they can get involved locally.
Check out tomorrow's Metro newspaper

In parallel, we’re launching a media campaign online, across social and in print to raise awareness of the condition. This will include a full cover takeover of the Metro newspaper across Merseyside tomorrow, on Tuesday 8th November (see the full ad here). We'll also be running a series of symptoms ads across the region all week, to raise public awareness (see examples below). 


The campaign features the stories of Rebecca and Trevor, who both live locally.

Rebecca, who lives on the Wirral, said "None of us had ever heard of the condition before...I was diagnosed after my Mum was tested and discovered that she had it."

Trevor, who lives in Liverpool said "For anyone who’s having symptoms, I’d recommend making an appointment to speak to your GP and being as persistent as possible. Before my diagnosis I’d been to a different doctor a couple of years earlier for the same reason and was just told I was probably working too hard…"

We expect to reach over 300,000 people with awareness materials and genetic screening, from Ellesmere Port to Southport, Warrington to Wallasey.

Every kit comes with a counselling appointment to explain the results and answer any queries about iron overload.

This programme will also help us to develop evidence of the prevalence of genetic haemochromatosis across the region. Currently, it's thought that around 1 in 150 people are at risk of iron overload, based on academic studies.

Our earlier work in Northern Ireland showed that the condition was much more prevalent than originally believed. So we'll be analysing the results from this programme, to develop guidance for policymakers at both regional and national levels.

If you or family live on Merseyside, keep an eye out for the Metro newspaper tomorrow across the region in the dark blue areas below!