Patients recalled after Nottingham surgeon is diagnosed with HIV
The infected doctor worked at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
A doctor who operated on hundreds of patients at Nottingham’s hospitals has been diagnosed with HIV.
The locum doctor, who has not been named, worked at Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust for two years between 2013 and 2015.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is an incurable blood-borne virus that attacks the immune system and is found in the bodily fluids of those infected with the disease.
The doctor’s diagnosis was unknown when they worked at NUH, and the trust has warned that there is a small risk that patients operated on by the doctor could have contracted the blood-borne virus.
NUH, which manages the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital, has written to 223 patients recalling them for blood testing.
The trust will host emergency clinics, where patients treated by the doctor can undergo blood tests.
Stephen Fowlie, medical director at NUH, 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, 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.”
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.
“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.”
The doctor also worked at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
A total of 401 patients were treated by the doctor between June 2010 and February 2015, including 121 at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals and NHS Trust and 57 at Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. All of these patients are being recalled for testing.
The doctor concerned is no longer working for the NHS and has been referred to the General Medical Council (GMC), which has placed conditions on their registration.
The GMC served an interim suspension order earlier this year and is investigating the actions of the doctor concerned, how their HIV positive status was confirmed and when their employers were made aware.
In November 2014, 22,000 patients of Nottingham dentist Desmond D’Mello were recalled for screening after he was secretly filmed flouting hygiene guidelines, including failing to change gloves between patients, at the Daybrook Dental Practice.
At the time, NHS England said there was a risk that his patients, during a 32-year career, could have contracted a blood-borne virus, such as HIV or hepatitis.
Mr D’Mello was struck from the register of dentists in August last year, when the General Dental Council found 55 allegations against him.
Anyone concerned should call a dedicated patient helpline on 0800 015 2804
Source Nottingham Post