Letters offering re-tests have been sent to 400 patients
An appeal to retest 400 former patients at NHS Trust hospitals in Nottingham, Chesterfield and Cornwall has been announced after a doctor was diagnosed with HIV.
The NHS said that the locum, who hasn’t been named, was employed at three Trusts between June 2010 and February 2015. In letters to the patients, it was said that the risk is low, but tests has been offered for all affected.
“Having worked with thousands of people who have developed diseases or illnesses following medical procedures, we know just how real these fears can be, and our medical negligence specialists can provide support when it’s needed the most.”
Madeleine Pinschof senior medical negligence solicitor at Thompsons
Those who choose to be tested will receive results in 24 hours and both the individual and their families will have access to support and advice.
There were 223 patients affected in Nottingham, 120 in Chesterfield and 57 in Cornwall.
HIV is a virus that attacks a person’s immune system, weakening their ability to fight infections and disease. It can be transmitted through bodily fluids, such as blood.
Dr Stephen Fowlie, medical director at the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said there was “no evidence” that the virus has been transmitted to patients. For this to happen, the infected worker would have to be bleeding during care given to a patient with an open wound.
Madeleine Pinschof, senior medical negligence solicitor at Thompsons, said: “While it’s worth reiterating that the risk of infection to patients is low, we would still advise all affected to have a test as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of HIV makes treatments extremely effective and enables people to live life largely unaffected, but if it is missed more serious illnesses can develop.
“It’s only natural that anyone affected by the retesting will be concerned that they may have come into contact with this potentially fatal virus. Having worked with thousands of people who have developed diseases or illnesses following medical procedures, we know just how real these fears can be, and our medical negligence specialists can provide support when it’s needed the most.”
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