Request from communications department... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Request from communications department at British Liver Trust

17 Replies

Hi all,

From time to time we receive requests from TV companies looking to make a programme about people with various liver conditions. We have received a request from a TV company looking for people specifically with alcohol related liver disease, who live in Wiltshire and are between the ages of 40-59 years. If you would be willing to speak to them about your own liver disease please contact Yvonne Wilcox at the British Liver Trust to find out more and we will support you in speaking with the TV company. Email

Many thanks,

BLT admin

17 Replies
Mama41 profile image

Great....another TV show that perpuates the myth that everyone with liver disease is an alcoholic or drug addict....

ladypoppy49 profile image
ladypoppy49 in reply to Mama41

If you read the request correctly was specifically asking for those people with alcohol related liver is not suggesting at all that everyone with liver disease is an alcoholic!

Mama41 profile image
Mama41 in reply to ladypoppy49

Thank you but I did read the request correctly...What I'm saying is that when Television shows deal with liver disease they always show the cause as being due to alcohol or drugs.

Would be nice to see them acknowledge that not all liver problems are self inflicted....

Grankids3 profile image
Grankids3 in reply to Mama41

I agree with you, mines was caused by my Diabeties, it's not alcoholic related, they should do a programme about the other causes, it might even make more people aware of it, xx

RHGB profile image

I looked at that, and thought, yep, I hit most of the qualifiers, except I live in Warwickshire, not Wiltshire. I then thought, but what if I did live in Wilts, would I have stuck my hand up.

I came to the conclusion, no. I would want more details of what was involved before it got to the enquiry stage. I do realise if you enquire you will be given more details, but I would have liked to have seen some brief outline of what it was about, first.

I maybe wrong, I maybe in the minority, you might be inundated with enquiries. But if you don't get many, you might want to consider it. Alcoholic liver disease covers such a wide range and I imagine they are looking for people in a certain spectrum of it.

LAJ123 profile image

I do know a Mr Phil Mitchell who once visited Stonehenge - would he count ?


matt137 profile image

Whilst I would love to help... im not sure I could deal with my face plastered over the TV with me saying 'yes I have destroyed my liver through drinking'!

dckimberly profile image

while I appreciate and understand those without alcohol related diseases being upset about the please try and remember most transplants that take place in the UK are in fact due to alcoholism. The public at large needs to be educated properly, as do family members about just how devastating and deadly drinking can be. Plus the NHS spends millions a year treating those of us who are ill because of drinking.

In fact, I'm waiting on my second liver, the first one is failing, and now I need a kidney also.

They should do specials on both sides, equally, so it is fair.

And no, if I were not a recovering alcoholic I would not want people thinking I'm a drunk. But I am, and in the UK there is absolutely NOT enough education or treatment for the disease.

In the US there is a lot more access to help.

although, to be fair, in the US I was not even considered a candidate for transplant, and was told to prepare to die. I was stunned when I came here and went to a doctor for refills on my palliative care medications only to be sent to Cambridge to be assessed. I would not be dead if it were not for the superior treatment and research here in the UK.

just my 2 cents, for what they are worth!


RHGB profile image
RHGB in reply to dckimberly

This is not aimed at you Kimberly, I just used your comment as a base to make a comment.

The system - government, medical profession et al, does not really care about the alcohol problem. Having been through it myself (as many others have here, I'm sure), I have seen it first hand.

From having a prolonged hospital stay, to trying to get help from my GP, to using. ARCs (alcohol recovery charities). I had my GP lie about being able to prescribe a medication to help with alcohol addiction and when I contacted the APC (area prescribing committee) they told me my GP could prescribe the medication. So she stopped saying she couldn't prescribe it, to she wouldn't prescribe it (big difference).

One of the problems is that GPs don't get the funding for it, so they won't help - GPs are quite mercenary when it comes to salaries and payment. Alcohol problems come under mental health, I sometimes talk to a nurse who worked in that part of the NHS. He left in the end because he couldn't cope with the disappearing help for patients and he now runs his own private alcohol addiction clinic. The part of the mental health budget for alcohol problems is now given over to ARCs, which quite frankly have no understanding. And I speak from experience, having visited two and spoken with their director in London.

I did ask one of their employees, why they seemed to go out on a limb for heroin (and other drugs, but mainly heroin) addicts, but seemed to be indifferent to people with an alcohol problem and this is what he said. heroin addiction is funded by street crime, which leads to other crime. It takes up a lot of court time (these people ((ARC)) are at the courts each week dealing with people who have been given probation) and money and if they are sent to prison it costs them even more. So they will throw money at it.

Alcoholics are self funding, they tend to pay for their drug of choice out of earnt money that has had tax paid on it. They are very unlikely to rob or cause street crime. Therefore they cause little problem and can be left to quietly drink themselves to death, whilst being ignored by the system. Of course they are falling over themselves to hand out the daily dose of methadone for free. Of course if you do manage to force out a prescription from them for alcohol addiction medication, it is not free. Because heroin addicts will just rob and steal to get money and alcohol inflicted people will pay like the good citizens they are.

I often hear how much alcohol problems cost the NHS each year. It is often quoted as £3.5bn, but what is not often quoted in the same breath is, that alcohol tax/duty is in excess of £10bn. If they were to take a fraction of that money and spend it on medication and training the counsellors who are supposed to understand the problem, but know nothing about or really care.

dckimberly profile image
dckimberly in reply to RHGB

Well said and we'll informed! Thankyou!

Like I said, I was stunned to see how little they try to help folks get into recovery.

In the states all doctors can use a simple 20 question questionnaire to determine to send folks to AA, sober living and detox.

We also are seeing diminished inpatient, 28 days or more. I was lucky, had detox then free 90 day in patient treatment. From there I checked myself into a sober house for five months..but those 90 days really saved my life, allowing me to change old behaviors and getting away from the world in general.

Doctors, all of them, in the US now have to take classes in addiction in order to get their medical degree. It's an epidemic in the states and has been for years.

Also, another reason heroin addiction gets so much attention is because of needle use and contracting Hep C and HIV which means passing it to others and even more monies spent on long term healthcare!

Cheering you on!

Thistle09 profile image
Thistle09 in reply to RHGB

WOW! Thanks for the eye-opener, RHGB. The situation in the US is much the same, although we probably have a more varied problem, with the addition of street drugs such as crystal meth and other lab-created monstrosities. Guess I've never thought of it the way you so adroitly put it. I knew a couple of heroin addicts who dutifully went in for their measures of methadone, only to discover years later that methadone was just as addictive as heroin. So I've been told; I have no personal experience with either drug, thank goodness. (Oh, almost forgot: while visiting Kathmandu, I was offered a toke on a pipe full of heroin. I demurred.) I'm just your average alcoholic, who did indeed imbibe on a regular basis, although not as much as others who are still at it, with no signs of cirrhosis. Alas, I don't live in Wiltshire. LOL.

LAJ123 profile image
LAJ123 in reply to dckimberly

Brilliantly put.

Grankids3 profile image
Grankids3 in reply to dckimberly

I'm not slating people with drink related problems, my ex husband was an alcoholic, he turned very nasty because we wanted to help him as we know it is an illness, he has now sadly passed away, they need to as you say educate especially teenagers the drastic effect it can have on your body, I'm suffering and I get angry with life because I don't want to live like this, I have survived cancer after 4 years, but this cirrhosis is something else, sorry , I feel I'm preaching, but I just get so down, then pick myself up for a wee while, I say I'm like a fiddlers elbow, up and down, lol, all the best for the future, xx

Grankids3 profile image
Grankids3 in reply to dckimberly

My ex husband was an alcoholic, his organs just packed in, I have lived with that for years, now I have cirrhosis by my DIABETEs, I just need to keep fingers crossed that I can see my grandchildren grow up, x

Mama41 profile image

But it would be nice to see a show that deals with liver disease that isn't down to to the patients life style choices.

I think the NHS spends enough dealing with alcoholics and drug addicts. Maybe start charging them... and for those saying we need more education about the damage alcohol does well unless youve been living under a rock for your whole teen/adult life then I'm sure you were aware of the damage the bottles of wine/vodka etc you were consuming was doing to your health.

RHGB profile image
RHGB in reply to Mama41

You may want to read the bit, where alcohol costs the NHS £3.5bn a year but duty and tax are in excess of £10bn a year. There is much profit in alcohol, much more than it costs. It is not unreasonable to ask that some of it be ploughed back.

As for charging people. Sure, if you want to give me the tens of thousands back in tax, then I will consider it. I also don't want smokers, obese or anyone that may have done anything in their life that could cost the NHS, like say, people with sporting injuries, women that got pregnant*, or anyone who knowingly did something that had a risk element to it or would involve a cost to the NHS.

PS I don't think anyone mentioned about education, it was about helping people to come off alcohol if they do get addicted (it is cheaper than treating them in hospital). It will be a sad society when we only want to treat certain people. I have earnt above average salary throughout my life, which means I have paid more into the system. Should I therefore expect better care? Although I am married, I do not have children, so why should I have to pay tax to educate other people's children. I am no Lefty or socialist, but that is a very rocky road that we go down, when we start to disregard people and only look out for ourselves and expect others to pay twice.

*That was just an example and not actually what I think.

briccolone profile image

excellent posts RHGH -sounds like you're the sort of guy who should be on that TV programme

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