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  1. ITV Report

Royal Cornwall patients called in for blood test after doctor diagnosed with HIV

57 Royal Cornwall Hospital patients have been asked to come in for a blood test. Photo: PA Images

The Royal Cornwall Trust has asked patients who were treated by a doctor who's been diagnosed as HIV positive, to come in for a blood test.

Clinical staff at the Cornish hospital have written to 57 patients who were seen by the locum doctor over a six month period between 2011 and 2012. But they say evidence shows risk of infection is extremely low and it is highly unlikely that any patient identified will have been infected with HIV.

The doctor was involved in orthopaedic operations at the Royal Cornwall Hospital between 2011 and 2012 but is no longer working for the NHS.

We understand this will be concerning to patients, however, it should be stressed that the risk of the virus having been passed on to any of the individuals we are writing to is extremely low. There has not been any instance of cross-infection following similar look back exercises in the UK in the past.

– Dr Malcolm Stewart, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust Medical Director

When a healthcare worker is diagnosed with HIV, it is normal practice for the NHS to identify any patient who has undergone procedures which may have placed them at risk of infection but only those patients written to by the trust are to go to the hospital for a precautionary test.

Support and counselling will be available and a helpline number has been set up. The majority of patients will have their results within 72 hours by phone and letter.

  • 01872 252200 – the helpline will be open 9am 5pm on weekdays until 12 May.