§ Lord Clement-Jones
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What were (a) the terms of reference, (b) composition and (c) consultees of the expert group set up by Ministers in August 2001 to consider requiring or offering HIV testing for all new National Health Service healthcare workers. [HL5618]
§ Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
The terms of reference of the ad hoc expert group set up by Ministers last year were:
To carry out an assessment of the potential health risk posed to patients from healthcare workers new to the NHS infected with serious communicable diseases, in particular HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and tuberculosis. This assessment is to include a relative risk assessment, which will take account of the following factors: prevalence of such infections, country by country, as an indication of likelihood of infection in those (of any immigration or refugee status) applying for posts in the NHS; prevalence of such infections in UK citizens generally and in high-risk groups; evidence of the risk of transmission of such infections from different groups of health care workers to patients; the effectiveness of measures already in place in this country to detect and manage infected healthcare workers.
To report back on the policy options that will minimise the potential health risk posed to patients.
The expert group, chaired by a Department of Health official, comprised:
- Ms Isabel Boyer (Lay Representative)
- Dr Barry Evans (CDSC-PHLS)
- Dr Kit Harling (Bristol Royal Infirmary)
- Dr Jeremy Hawker (CDSC-PHLS)
- Dr Rachel Heathcock (Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority)
- Professor Will Irving (Nottingham University Medical School)
- Mr James Johnson (Joint Consultants Committee)
- Professor Newell Johnson (Guy's, King's and St Thomas' Dental School)
- Mrs Diana Kloss (University of Manchester)
- Ms Dee May (Royal College of Nursing)
- Dr Philip Mortimer (CPHL-PHLS)
- Dr Alison Rimmer (Sheffield Occupational Health Service)
- Dr William Rosenberg (Southampton University Medical School)
- Professor Peter Rubin (Nottingham University Medical School)
- Mrs Rosaline Steele (Royal College of Midwives)
- Dr John Watson (CDSC-PHLS).
The expert group did not undertake a formal consultation but included representatives from the healthcare and legal professions as well as expertise in epidemiology, occupational health, public health and virology. It is intended that there will be consultation on the draft operational guidance before it is issued to the NHS.