About four hundred patients have been recalled for HIV tests after it emerged that they had been treated by a doctor infected with the ‘deadly’ virus.
The recall affects 401 patients who were under the care of the locum doctor, who worked in orthodpaedic surgery and A&E, and was employed at three NHS hospital trusts between June 2010 and February 2015, Daily Mail reports.
While Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust recalled 121 patients, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust recalled 223 patients with Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust recalling 57 patients.
The hospitals said patients who had undergone ‘invasive procedures where there is a potential risk of infection’ have been identified and invited back for a precautionary blood test.
Dr Stephen Fowlie, Medical Director in Nottingham, said the doctor had treated patients and then subsequently been diagnosed with HIV.
Dr 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 to 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.’
The locum doctor is no longer working for the NHS, and has been referred to the General Medical Council (GMC), which has placed conditions on their registration.
Health officials also emphasised that HIV could not be passed on by day-to-day contact and while HIV positive staff can work on patients, there were strict conditions in place.