Third Aids doctor revealed
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.
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery reports: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Early Years supply teachers neede...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + bonus: Ampersand Consulting LLP: .NET a...
£110 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: English Teacher needed for ...
£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...