Patients invited for blood test as precaution after positive HIV status of doctor confirmed
Published: 02 May 2017 | Categories: NHS
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) has written to 223 patients to advise they return to hospital for a blood test as a precautionary measure following confirmation that a doctor involved in their care has subsequently been diagnosed with HIV.
NUH Medical Director, Dr Stephen Fowlie, said: “The risk that any patient has been infected by transmission of the virus from this doctor is extremely low. However, because the doctor’s diagnosis was unknown during their employment with us (2013-2015), we are contacting patients who had had at risk operations involving this doctor to advise they return to hospital for a blood test as a precautionary measure.
“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.”
“The Trust is arranging clinic appointments, test results within 24 hours, and appropriate support and advice from our specialists for these 223 patients and their families. Patients’ siblings and friends have no cause for concern and no other patients have cause for concern.”
There is free, dedicated helpline should any patients have any questions or concerns, and for patients to book a blood test at our hospital should they choose to do so. The helpline number is 0800 0152804. Any patients with questions or concerns should contact this number.
Dr David Levy, 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.
“Advice and counselling is available for those affected by this recall, and we would encourage them to access this support. It is our first priority to identify and provide reassurance to the individuals being contacted at this time. We continue to work closely with Public Health England and other organisations involved to understand the details of what has been a complex incident.”
The doctor at the heart of this precautionary patient notification exercise is no longer working for the NHS. They were referred to the General Medical Council (GMC), which placed conditions on their registration
Subsequently the GMC has served an interim suspension order on the doctor earlier this year because they failed to comply with the conditions placed upon them. NHS England can confirm that no patients were put at risk during that time as their records show no category 3 exposure-prone procedures were carried out.