Public Health England (PHE) and Health Protection Scotland (HPS) have released a new publication entitled ‘Integrated guidance on the management of healthcare workers infected with bloodborne viruses (HIV, hepatitis B and / or hepatitis C) (2017)’. The guidance can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bloodborne-viruses-bbvs-in-healthcare-workers. A set of quick reference guides for the management of common situations is also included on the website.
The document brings together a wide range of extant guidance in order to ensure all of the relevant guidance is easily accessible in a single place.
The guidance is intended primarily for use by occupational health services in the UK, but also contains sections on public health management of healthcare workers infected with a bloodborne virus which will also be of interest to public health teams. It provides up-to-date, evidence-based recommendations intended to reduce the risk of healthcare worker-to-patient transmission of bloodborne viruses. The guidance also provides advice on key operational and service delivery issues that need to be addressed to ensure healthcare workers infected with bloodborne viruses who perform exposure prone procedures (EPPs) are managed in a manner that safeguards their confidentiality and employment rights. While this guidance does not represent a policy change, there are some changes in the arrangements for testing and reporting of results for hepatitis B. Additional information has also been published for the first time about arrangements for patient notification exercises.
Further information about the guidance, health clearance and the management of healthcare workers infected with bloodborne viruses can be obtained from the UKAP Medical Secretary, via email@example.com.