HIV patient failed by hospital after Walsall NHS Trust delayed his surgery at short notice

  • ITV News Central reporter Lewis Warner sat down with 'Peter' to discuss the discrimination he experienced at Walsall Manor Hospital.

A hospital has apologised after it failed in its care of a man who had his surgery delayed at short notice because of his HIV status.

Peter - not his real name - was diagnosed with HIV 16 years ago and has described facing the stigma of others, but said he never imagined it would come from medical professionals.

He was due to undergo surgery to remove a cyst from his prostate at Walsall Manor Hospital, but as he waited in the anaesthetist's room he was told the procedure would be delayed.

Soon after he was told his operation would be rescheduled to the end of the day so staff could deep clean the operating theatre.

Peter said the last place he expected to experience discrimination was at a hospital - at the hands of medical professionals.

He told ITV News Central: "I was on the trolly outside the doors to the operating theatre at the anaesthetists room and it was at that point I was told I would have to go back to the waiting room.

"I went back to the waiting room and was told that because I was HIV-positive, my operation would have to be done last because they'd need to deep clean the theatre after my surgery.

"The surgeon came through to speak to me and was really apologetic and said he had no issue with operating on me."

The lack of sympathy from staff left the man heartbroken.

Peter added: "I was just shocked because I didn't expect a medical professional to be so uneducated in HIV and transmission.

"To be honest that was the shock to have that happen in that environment.

"I broke down and tried to go to the office but there was nobody who was sympathetic apart from the surgeon."

The health ombudsman has criticised the hospital saying no extra cleaning is necessary after treating someone who's on HIV medication.

Peter's HIV medication means the virus is undetectable - and that there is almost no chance it could be passed on to someone else.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) concluded Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust acted inappropriately.

A spokesperson said Peter's mistreatment was a case of discrimination.

They said: "This case shows that discrimination still occurs in our National Health Service.

"Living with HIV is a continuous health condition and therefore he should've been treated the same as anybody else because the regulations require that all the necessary clinical safeguards are taken for people living with HIV.

"To single him out entirely was completely inappropriate and it should not have happened."

In a statement Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said: "We would like to sincerely apologise again to this patient for the ill-informed and inaccurate comment and his subsequent care and appreciate this would have been a highly distressing experience.

"The Trust has been working with staff across our hospital and community services to educate colleagues about universal infection prevention and control procedures."

Since his apology Peter has since continued treatment at the hospital's HIV clinic which he said is among the best in the country.

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