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2 May 2017, 16:06
223 patients who had operations in Nottinghamshire are offered HIV tests.
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which represents has sent out letters to 223 patients offering them a blood test after a doctor who treated them was diagnosed with HIV.
Capital's been told the tests are a precautionary and that the risk of infection is extremely low.
A helpline has been set up for patients to book blood tests and to ask any questions: 0800 0152804
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.
"We are 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."
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."