Four Hundred NHS Patients Offered HIV Tests after Being Operated on by Infected Surgeon

Emergency clinics are being set up, although doctors have said the chances any patients were infected are "very low".


Four Hundred NHS Patients Offered HIV Tests after Being Operated on by Infected Surgeon

Health officials say the locum medic, who worked in orthodpaedic surgery and A&E, was employed at three NHS hospital trusts between June 2010 and February 2015.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital, has written to 223 patients recalling them for blood testing.

The HIV-positive doctor also worked at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where 120 patients have been notified, as well as the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, where 57 patients are potentially affected.

Dr Stephen Fowlie, Medical Director in Nottingham, said: "Transmission of the virus between an infected healthcare worker and a patient with an open wound can only occur if health workers themselves have an injury with bleeding when they are delivering patient care.

"There is no evidence this happened to this doctor in any patient contact."

He said patients attending the emergency clinics would be promised a 24-hour turn-around on their blood tests.

The Trust said the unnamed doctor’s condition was not known during the time he worked there.

Dr David Levey, regional medical director for NHS England Midlands and East, said: "We understand that this will be a worrying time for patients who are being invited for precautionary testing and their families.

"However, clinical evidence shows that the risk of infection is extremely low and it is highly unlikely that any of the patients being contacted will have been infected with HIV.”

Officials emphasised HIV could not be passed on by day-to-day contact and while HIV positive staff can work on patients, there were strict conditions in place.

They added the locum is no longer working in the NHS.

"Advice and counselling is available for those affected by this recall, and we could encourage them to access this support. It is our first priority to identify and provide reassurance to the individuals being contacted at this time," said Dr Levy.


Source: The Telegraph



Four Hundred NHS Patients Offered HIV Tests after Being Operated on by Infected Surgeon

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