Department of Health
Scotland leads hepatitis C patient notification exercise
Patients in Scotland and England treated by a former NHS Lanarkshire healthcare worker who tested positive for hep c are being contacted.
Advice from Scottish and UK experts is that the risk of the hepatitis C virus having been transmitted to a patient during surgery involving the healthcare worker is low.
8,443 patients, mainly from Lanarkshire, but also from across Scotland and the rest of the UK, are receiving letters this week informing them of the situation and recommending that they arrange an appointment for a blood test. Only patients who have received a letter need to undergo hepatitis C testing. There are 336 patients in total in England who are being contacted.
Dr James Sedgwick, Consultant Epidemiologist at PHE said:
We would like to reassure people that the likelihood of patients acquiring the virus from a surgical procedure carried out by the healthcare worker is low.
We know that some people receiving the letter will be concerned about what this means for them. Although the risk of infection is low, we are recommending that people take up the offer of a blood test to ensure that anyone who may have the virus can receive the right treatment. The latest treatment for hepatitis C is very effective.
To ensure a consistent and coordinated approach for all patients, PHE and NHS Lanarkshire have been working with partner organisations and agencies including:
- other Scottish health boards
- Health Protection Scotland
- NHS England
- Public Health Agency of Northern Ireland
- Public Health Wales
- UK Advisory Panel for Healthcare Workers Infected with Blood Borne Viruses (UKAP)
Prior to 1982, the healthcare worker worked in England. Hospital trusts where the healthcare worker was employed are being contacted to determine whether records are available to identify patients who underwent surgical procedures performed by the healthcare worker during this period. Any further patients identified in England will be contacted by letter and invited for testing.
Videos and other information about hepatitis C and the public health exercise are available at www.nhslanarkshire.org.uk. More information about hepatitis C is also available from the Hepatitis C Trust.
Latest News from
Department of Health
PHE publishes elimination of HIV and HIV testing reports 201716/11/2017 13:25:00
Latest HIV testing reports show a fall in HIV transmission rates in the UK as investment in effective preventative measures pays off.
£600,000 funding of 12 projects by PHE to help prevent HIV14/11/2017 10:10:10
Through the HIV Prevention Innovation Fund, PHE is funding 12 projects to help develop new and innovative ways of preventing HIV.
Call for women to get life-saving smear test after uptake drops08/11/2017 08:10:00
PHE is urging women to have cervical screening after latest figures show a drop in attendance.
40,000 healthcare professionals trained to help smokers quit03/11/2017 15:20:00
Public Health England event in Birmingham promotes government tobacco control plan and the drive to make the NHS smoke-free by 2019