Third Aids doctor revealed

A TRAINEE GP who carried out surgical procedures at a Lancashire Hospital died of Aids last summer, it was confirmed last night. It is the third case in a week involving a HIV-positive doctor.

The doctor, who has not been named, is believed to have been working at a practice in Westhoughton, in Greater Manchester. He died in May last year.

A joint statement issued by Bolton Health Authority and Bolton Family Health Services Authority, said that he had completed six shifts - between six and 10 hours long - at Bolton Royal Infirmary between October 1991 and January 1992. He had also worked in general practice from August 1991 to February 1992, but had not been involved in any invasive surgical procedures.

Patients who may have been treated by him are now being traced, and will be offered counselling and blood tests. A Helpline service will be open from 10am today. Dr Peter Povey, director of public health for the health authority, said that the risk of HIV transmission from doctor to patient was minimal.

John Brunt, general manager of the Bolton Hospitals unit, said that the authorities had been unaware that the doctor had Aids, until contacted by the Independent on Sunday, after the paper received an anonymous phone- call. He declined to comment on whether other partners in the practice had been aware of his illness.

Last week the Mid-Glamorgan Health Authority was criticised for failing to tell the public that a trainee GP, who had worked in the area, had died of Aids in October 1992.

By contrast, Medway Health Authority went public as soon

as it learned that Terence Shuttleworth, a gynaecologist, was HIV positive. The number of patients involved - 17,000 over 10 years - left little alternative.

Both cases lead to calls

for compulsory testing of health workers, which Virginia Bot

tomley, the Secretary of State for Health, immediately ruled out. However, she has ordered a review of existing guidelines to protect patients from infection by health workers.

Whether or not more robust guidance is needed from the Department of Health - and reconsideration of compulsory testing - may depend on the outcome of the Shuttleworth case. To date, there has not been a comparable pool of patients in the world who have been treated by an HIV-positive health worker.

A total of 765 former patients of the gynaecologist have now had blood tests. A further 793 have made appointments for counselling; many will opt for the test, too. Statistically, it is likely that one or more will be positive. Mr Shuttleworth is unlikely to be

responsible for any infections among his patients, but proving that fact beyond all reasonable doubt will become a priority.

If further tests showed that a patient had a strain of the virus related to that carried by Mr Shuttleworth, it would be the first case of a surgeon unintentionally infecting a patient. Such a finding would have a huge impact on surgical practice worldwide. Legal action against the surgeon or the health authority could follow.

If, however, the viral strains were unrelated, it would give more credence to the view that there is indeed 'minimal risk' of transmission from doctor to patient.

The Helpline number is 0204 390999.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Negotiator - OTE £24,000

£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An enthusiastic individual is r...

Recruitment Genius: Area Manager - West Midlands - OTE £35,000

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Area Manager is required to ...

Recruitment Genius: Area Manager - Yorkshire & Humber - OTE £35,000

£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Area Manager is required to ...

Recruitment Genius: Embedded Linux Engineer - C / C++

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A well funded smart home compan...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?