5,000 Gwent patients to be contacted by Aneurin Bevan Health Board after former health care worker diagnosed with hepatitis C
THOUSANDS of patients in Gwent are being contacted by Aneurin Bevan Health Board after a former care worker who retired a decade ago was found to have hepatitis C.
5,000 people in Gwent and 500 in other parts of Wales and England, who were treated by an unnamed former healthcare worker involved in obstetric and gynaecological treatment almost 30 years are to be contacted, a public meeting heard at St Cadoc’s Hospital in Caerleon this morning.
The former healthcare worker spent most of their career working at Caerphilly District Miners’ Hospital but also briefly worked at East Glamorgan General Hospital between May 28 and July 17, 1984, and at Wrexham Maelor Hospital between May and June 1978.
The virus is known to have been transmitted from the healthcare worker to two patients between 1984 and 2002, when the individual stopped clinical practice.
The virus is transmitted during blood-to-blood contact but the individual did not know they had the virus until after they retired, therefore no blame is being attached to that person, the meeting heard.
As well as Aneurin Bevan, Cwm Taf and Betsi Cadwalader health boards are also identifying and contacting patients who have or may have been treated by the healthcare worker.
Patients will receive an individual letter that will ask them to ring a dedicated helpline to arrange an appointment in a specialist nurse clinic for a test.
Hepatitis C is a virus which can lead to inflammation of the liver, causing chronic liver disease and in some rare cases liver cancer. Treatment is available for hepatitis C. In most cases, the virus is asymptomatic – people who are infected do not realise they have the infection and suffer no noticeable symptoms.
The virus cannot be transmitted by social contact, kissing or sharing food and drink.
More information about hepatitis C, including a factsheet and frequently asked questions, will be available from the Cwm Taf and Aneurin Bevan health board websites at www.cwmtafhb.wales.nhs.uk and www.aneurinbevanhb.wales.nhs.uk General information about hepatitis C is available from the Hepatitis C Trust at www.hepctrust.org.uk
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