Public Health England (PHE) have published its ‘Eye of the Needle 2020’ report, which provides an overview of reported significant occupational exposures (SOEs) to blood-borne viruses (HIV, HBV or HCV), from initiation of the surveillance programme on 1 January 1997, through to 30 June 2018.
During this period, a total of 8,765 SOEs were recorded in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Data for Scotland are available for the period January 2015 to December 2017, during which time 234 SOEs were reported, which compares with 1,216 SOEs from the rest of the UK over the same period. Further surveillance data for Scotland are available in the Healthcare Associated Infection Annual Report 2018.
Since implementation of the PHE surveillance system, 23 HCV seroconversions, and one HIV seroconversion have been reported, with no HBV seroconversions having been recorded. Reporting of SOEs and seroconversions to PHE is done on a non-mandatory basis, though a review of the way in which occupational health services report such incidents is underway to improve the accuracy, completeness and utility of the data.
Source: PHE, 3 February 2020