British Liver Nurses' Association

The British Liver Nurses' Association (BLNA) is a special interest group of the British Association for the Study of the Liver (BASL). The BLNA is a new organisation formed following a merger of the BASL Nurse Forum and the British Liver Nurse Forum and was launched at the Nurses Meeting at BASL on 21st September 2017. It is a professional nursing organisation aiming to develop knowledge and understanding of liver disease, in order to improve the quality of patient care, through:

  • The advancement of good clinical practice in the care of individuals with, or at risk of liver disease;
  • The promotion and dissemination of patient-focussed research;
  • The provision of educational support and educational opportunities in the field of hepatology;
  • The promotion of a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to caring for people with liver disease.

BLNA aims to offer support for all nurses who see patients with or at risk of developing liver disease. Nurse members of BASL currently include nurses working within gastroenterology wards, the community, research, paediatrics and transplant, but with one common goal - to improve care for those with liver disease.


The RCN Caring for people with liver disease: a competence framework has been developed as professional standards to help equip a nurse to identify individuals at risk of liver disease, promote healthy livers and lifestyle as well as care for individuals with existing liver disease. The framework is a valuable tool to support effective person centred quality care for people with or at risk of liver disease.  Download RCN Competences-Caring for people with liver disease.pdf

BLNA Meetings

The BASL Nurses Annual Meeting usually takes places on the middle day of the BASL Annual Meeting. A full day’s educational programme is delivered and also offers a fantastic networking opportunity.

Nurse travel bursaries are ususally available to attend the BASL Annual Meeting and Nurses Day and when available are advertised on the website and on the BASL Annual Meeting; .

Follow BLNA on Twitter . 

The Interim BLNA Committee is below:


BLNA Interim Chair Fiona Fry, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
BLNA Interim Chair Michelle Clayton, University of Leeds
Membership Representative TBC
Transplant Representative Sally Bufton, University Hospital Birmingham
Education Representative Kathryn Oakes, Kings College Hospital, London
End of Life Care Representative Sarah Fairclough, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals
NHIVNA Link Sally Bufton, University Hospital Birmingham
Alcohol Liaison Representative Mark Holmes, Institute of Mental Health, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Committee Member Lynda Greenslade, Lead Nurse Specialist Practice in Hepatology, Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Committee Member Sue Goldthorpe, Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
Committee Member Bronwen Williams, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Fiona Fry BEM, Hepatology CNS, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital

Fiona Fry BEM, BSc (Hons), Independent Non-Medical Prescriber, is the Senior Hepatology Nurse Specialist at the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, and has been actively involved in the BASLNF for the past 6 years. She has worked within gastroenterology and emergency medicine for the last 24 years and has been in her current role for 13 years. Fiona sees patients with a wide range of liver disease and has a specialist interest in alcohol related liver disease and viral hepatitis. She is especially committed to highlighting inequalities and ensuring equal access of care for disadvantaged patients, through the establishment of outreach services.

Michelle Clayton RGN, BSc (Hons), MSc, PGC Clinical Education

Michelle is a part time Lecturer in Liver Care at the University of Leeds and a part time Liver Nurse Educator at St. James’s University Hospital, Leeds. Michelle has over 25 years of experience in the field of hepatology and liver transplantation.

Michelle is passionate about championing quality care for people with liver disease. She has been integral in launching the British Liver Nurses’ Association (BLNA); she also holds a steering committee position on the RCN’s Gastrointestinal Forum. Michelle has a large portfolio of publications and speaks both nationally and internationally on care considerations for people with liver disease and liver transplantation. Michelle led and successfully launched the “Caring for People with Liver Disease: A Competence Framework for Nursing” in February 2013 and collaborated with Lynda Greenslade to update the framework in September 2015. She has recently been asked to join the EASL concerted action group for nurses to raise the profile of liver nursing across Europe.

In 2012, Michelle won Gastrointestinal Nursing’s “Educationist of the Year” award for her work in advancing liver nurse education and care. She is on the editorial board of Gastrointestinal Nursing and was integral in developing the journal’s Liver Nursing Supplement. 

Kathryn Oakes, Viral Hepatitis CNS, Kings College Hospital, London

Kath is the Lead Viral Hepatitis CNS at Kings College Hospital (KCH), she has been a committee member of BASLNF for two and a half years. She has a hepatology and ITU background and has worked within the hepatitis team at KCH for the last ten years, becoming the lead CNS six years ago.

Kath is a non-medical prescriber and leads a team of five clinical nurse specialists. She has set up a support group for patients and a wide range of nurse led services which include a prescribing service for HBV patients and community clinics across drug and alcohol services and GP centres. The team also cater for a complex patient population and provide pre-diagnostic services and an antenatal liaison programme for HBV infected pregnant women.  

Kath works closely with the London Joint Working Group on substance misuse and Hepatitis C and is currently involved with the pre-NICE access treatment programme for HCV patients. She has recently published articles on the prevalence, pathophysiology and management of HBV and was also on the editorial panel for the BASLNF toolkits.

Sally Bufton, Hepatitis Specialist Nurse, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Sally moved into a new role of Birmingham ODN Nurse Manager in June 2016. This role was set up to oversee the 13 Trusts within the network, support and advise, liaise with NHS England and ensure data gets sent back to NHS England. This role also involves undertaking 2 hepatitis C clinics a week.

Prior to this she has been a Viral Hepatitis Specialist Nurse since January 2010 at the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust; she has worked in the same Birmingham NHS Trust with liver patients since 1991, as a nurse on the liver ward and Liver Intensive Care Unit, and then as Liver Recipient Transplant Coordinator for 13.5 years, dealing with end stage liver disease, cirrhosis and liver transplantation patients.

Sally treats patients with hepatitis C, non-transplant and post-liver transplant recipients. Many of these patients are complex patients including those with cirrhosis, co-infection with HIV, and end stage renal failure. She is an independent non-medical prescriber, and has a BSc (Hons) in Nursing and an MSc in Health Care Policy and Management.

She peer reviews articles for various Nursing Journals and has had published articles on Hepatitis B, C and ODNs.

Sarah Fairclough, Liver Nurse Specialist, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Sarah Fairclough BSc (Hons), independent Non-medical prescriber is the Lead Liver nurse specialist at Basildon & Thurrock University Hospital. She has worked within Gastroenterology and Hepatology for the 16 years. She has a specialist interest in decompensated cirrhosis and its long term management including, improving quality of life and end of life care. She also has a keen and active interest in research and service development.

Mark Holmes, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Institute of Mental Health, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Mark Holmes BSc, RMN, SPMH has been a mental health nurse for 25 years. He has developed services in community treatment, hospital alcohol liaison, Identification and Brief Advice, online Brief Treatment, alcohol related long term conditions and end of life care. Mark was being twice awarded Nursing Times Awards; The Mental Health Nurse of the Year in 2012 and as the Team Leader for LTC Team of the year 2016. 

Mark is currently the Head of Education at the Institute of Mental Health at Nottinghamshire Healthcare.

Lynda Greenslade, Lead Nurse Specialist Practice in Hepatology, Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Lynda is a liver nurse with a long relationship of working with patients and their families with liver disease. She was first hooked as a student nurse at the Royal Free working on the liver unit which was a mad house, interesting but busy. After a spell on orthopaedics she went back as a staff nurse because she missed the buzz of livers. After a quick detour into Intensive care at The Middlesex Hospital she ended up back at the Liver Unit at the Royal Free. Since then she has been a ward sister, a research nurse working mainly in portal hypertension. In her current role she is a lead nurse specialist practice in hepatology managing a team of hepatology nurses and in her clinics she mainly looks after patients with the complications of liver disease, stable cirrhotic’s and haemochromatosis. Currently she is working on a project with the Marie Curie Palliative Care team and hepatology to try and improve end of life care for patients with end stage liver disease. She is also a committee member of the RCN Gastroenterology Forum and enjoys teaching both in the clinical area, at conferences and university. The Royal Free has recently developed a university sponsored liver course. 


Sue Goldthorpe: Viral Hepatitis Nurse, Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Since qualifying Sue has always worked in a gastroenterology / hepatology environment. Initially working in Oxford until 2006, when she had a change of heart and returned to Yorkshire. She started working as the lone viral hepatitis nurse for her Trust in 2008. In 2009, Sue became an independent prescriber and through this was encouraged to continue her education. In 2013, she completed an MSc in Health Care Studies (Long Term Conditions). Her dissertation explored the knowledge and perceptions of hepatitis C amongst Primary Care practitioners and highlighted how they can struggle to access appropriate, up to date information about this specialist area. 

Bronwen Williams, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research Nurse, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Bronwen qualified in 1992 from the Royal London Hospital where she worked as a staff nurse on an acute medical and gastroenterology ward. This sparked her interest in hepatology and in 1995 she moved to the Liver Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. Here she worked on the pre-transplant, liver intensive care and post-transplant units.

She spent a few years in Birmingham before leaving to manage health projects in a number of countries in Africa for an international aid agency. The health projects were varied ranging from clinic-based primary health care to community-based Malaria, Reproductive health and HIV/AIDS health education/promotion programmes. She had various administrative roles, but a key role was to develop staff capacity and skills in the health sector. In between overseas placements, she also studies for a Masters degree in International Health Management from Birmingham University.

For the last 8 years, she has been working in Hull as a Hepatology Research Nurse, going back to her roots as a liver nurse. The department currently has 23 different research trials ongoing ranging from pharmaceutical drug trials for NASH and PBC to academic observational trials focusing on HCV and Autoimmune Hepatitis. Alongside her clinical trials research role, she is also responsible for the design, development and coordination of liver research projects, including grant applications and academic submissions. She currently manages 2 primary care NAFLD research projects looking at NAFLD integrated care pathways and the use of ELF testing in primary care.

She has published a Gastrointestinal Nursing article on NAFLD and obesity and is planning to publish a research focused article on Health Care Professional and Patient Knowledge, Practice and Understanding of NAFLD in the coming year. 


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