Skip to content
left end
left end
right end

Tb Case Prompts Screening University Hospitals Bristol Nhs Foundation Trust

10 December 2008

A healthcare worker from University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, based at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, has been diagnosed with multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

All patients who may have had contact with the infected healthcare worker have been identified. As a result of a thorough lookback exercise, 264 patients and staff were yesterday (Monday 8 December) sent a letter offering an appointment for screening as a routine precaution.  This is in line with national guidelines for these incidents.

Christine Perry, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said:

We have a duty to alert all those who have come into contact with this healthcare worker of this issue and we are offering everyone potentially exposed the opportunity to undergo screening as a precaution.  We understand that this may cause concern but we would like to stress that the risk to these patients and staff is very small. 

Dr Joyshri Sarangi, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control at the Health Protection Agency in Bristol, said:

People have to be in very close, frequent or prolonged contact with an infected person to catch TB. Just being in the same room as someone who has TB is not enough to catch the disease. We are offering screening as a precaution, and have followed national guidance on this extremely closely.

TB is a slow growing infection, which is passed from person to person in a very small number of cases. The multi-drug resistant form of TB is just as difficult to catch as ordinary TB. It can be completely cured but requires different drugs to standard TB and a longer course of treatment.

A helpline has been set up for affected patients to arrange screening appointments and for further information or advice.