Measles Outbreak National Incident Declared

The UK is seeing a significant outbreak of measles. The UK Health Security Agency, which is part of the UK Government, has declared a national incident. You can read about the outbreak here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-68028530 Two vaccinations are needed to fully protect you against Measles, mumps and Rubella. Measles is a highly contagious disease which is

Government Has Published its Infected Blood Enquiry Report

The Government has published its Infected Blood Enquiry report.

The report can be viewed via the dedicated website: https://www.infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk/

Led by Sir Brian Langstaff KC, this independent public statutory inquiry was established to examine the circumstances in which men, women and children treated by national health services in the United Kingdom were given infected blood and infected blood products, since 1970.

The inquiry has examined why people were given infected blood and/or infected blood products; the impact on their families; how the authorities (including government) responded; the nature of any support provided following infection; questions of consent; and whether there was a cover-up.

The NHS have published the following guidance:

  • We know that people may be concerned about their own health following recent media coverage, so NHS England have set up a new online resource for people – https://nhs.uk/infected-blood-support
  • Given the time that has elapsed since the last use of infected blood products, most of those who were directly affected have been identified and started appropriate treatment. However, there may be a small number of patients where this is not the case, and particularly where they are living with asymptomatic hepatitis C
  • If you are concerned about a possible hepatitis C infection, you can book a home NHS test online. The tests are free and confidential. To receive a self-testing kit which can be quickly dispatched to your home visit hepctest.nhs.uk.
  • Hepatitis B is also linked to infected blood, this usually clears up on its own without treatment, but could develop into chronic hepatitis B.  Patients can find out more information here – hepatitis B information
  • HIV testing is also provided to anyone free of charge on the NHS.  Home testing and home sampling kits are also available.  You can find out more about HIV testing and the HIV testing services search tool on the NHS website.
  • Patients who want more details about the safety of blood from donations in England can find more information here:  https://www.blood.co.uk/the-donation-process/further-information/your-safety/
  • Although it is unlikely there are people living with undetected HIV from the infected blood period, concerned patients can be pointed towards information on HIV diagnosis and the HIV testing services search tool
  • Hepatitis B, another infection that can be linked to infected blood, usually clears up on its own without treatment, but some patients acquire chronic hepatitis B. Patients concerned about hepatitis B infection can be directed towards relevant hepatitis B information or to visit their GP or local sexual health clinic.
  • Since 1991, all blood donated in the UK is screened and distributed by NHS Blood and Transplant following rigorous safety standards and testing to protect both donors and patients.
  • Since testing has been introduced, the risk of getting an infection from a blood transfusion or blood products is very low. 
  • All blood donors are screened at every donation and every donation is tested before it is sent to hospitals. Blood services and blood safety has been transformed, not only in terms of technological advances in testing but also in the way donors are recruited and checked they are safe to donate. 
  • There have been no reported and confirmed cases of hepatitis C, from any UK blood component, since a 1997 transfusion and for HIV from a transfusion in 2002.