Chesterfield Royal Hospital confirms HIV-diagnosed doctor no longer works for the NHS
Chesterfield Royal Hospital has announced that it has sent letters to 120 patients inviting them to undergo a precautionary blood test after one of its doctors was diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The doctor, who previously worked at the Royal in orthopaedics and the Emergency Department, is no longer working for the NHS.
A spokesman for the hospital said only patients who received a letter were affected by the recall.
He added that while clinical evidence showed any risk of infection to patients was extremely low, they were offering patients the chance to have a blood test, receive further information and the opportunity to ask questions.
Dr Gail Collins, medical director at Chesterfield Royal, said: “This is news that these patients will not be expecting and I offer apologies for the understandable anxiety and distress it is likely to cause them or members of their family.”
“I assure patients and people in north Derbyshire that Chesterfield Royal Hospital is committed to making sure their care and treatment is safe. As worrying as this sounds it is extremely unlikely the virus transferred to anyone during their treatment.
“It is perfectly safe for health care workers to provide patient care and services if they are HIV positive.
“They need to follow and maintain their recommended treatment regime, adhere to all infection control procedures and comply with any other restrictions required by their professional body.
“When a healthcare worker is diagnosed with HIV, it is usual practice for the NHS to undertake a review to determine what care they gave during their employment. Depending on the results of that exercise, it is also usual practice to invite some patients for precautionary testing.”
The hospital will be hosting blood test clinics outside of usual working hours, or offering patients a convenient alternative appointment. Only patients who receive a letter from the hospital are affected by this recall.
As well as details of the clinics and where they will take place, the letter contains details about how to get in touch with the helpline if they have immediate questions and concerns.
The announcement comes after Derbyshire times published a pre-release letter which a member of the public had obtained from a GP.
The man who passed the letter to Derbyshire Times, who preferred not to be named, said he felt it was his duty to let others know.
He added: “If this person is treating the public, then people have a right to know.”