Review - Document Details


Review - Reviewer's Assessment

1. Short summary / abstract
The circular builds upon previous advice from the Advisory Group on Hepatitis that: -
infected health care workers associated with transmission of infection to patients should no longer perform exposure prone procedures (EPP)
health care workers who know that they have been infected with hepatitis C and who perform EPP should be tested for hepatitis C virus RNA. Those found to be carrying the virus (Hep C RNA positive) should not be allowed to perform EPP
It contains information on: -
testing before training for a career where EPP will be necessary
testing following exposure
resuming EPP following treatment
provision of information and training to reduce risk
The guidance introduces additional restrictions to those recommended in 1995 from the Advisory Group on Hepatitis and the guidance applies to all health care workers in the NHS who carry out EPP’s including independent contractors such as general medical and dental practitioners, independent midwives, students, locums and agency staff. It also applies to staff in the independent sector who are performing EPP on NHS patients.

2. What question is the document addressing?
The circular gives advice on screening, investigation, prevention of transmission and management of hepatitis C in all health care workers and those infected health care workers who perform exposure prone procedures

3. Type of study
Guidance document

4. Methods valid & appropriate?

Should be read with Hepatitis C Action Plan for England (July 2004), accompanying booklet to (HSC) 2002/010 Hepatitis C Infected health Care Workers (August 2002) and Hepatitis C Strategy for England (August 2002) Department of Health

5. Results / recommendations reliable?
Yes: developed with assistance of an expert group (The Advisory Group on Hepatitis) and key stake holders

6. Any major problems and biases?

7. Any other important / relevant studies which confirm or contradict?
1. Hepatitis C Strategy for England (August 2002) Department of Health
2. Getting Ahead of the Curve, a strategy for combating infectious diseases (including other aspects of health protection) Department of Health. 2002
3. Accompanying booklet to HSC 2002/010 Hepatitis C Infected health Care Workers(August2002)
4. Hepatitis C Action Plan for England (July 2004), Department of Health
5. Hepatitis C: Essential information for professionals and guidance on testing Department of Health
6. The National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV. Department of Health
7. Hepatitis B key documents
8. Hepatitis C key documents
9. HIV key documents

8. Keywords
Hepatitis C health promotion injecting drug misuse liver disease liver cancer HIV Hepatitis B blood borne viruses

Reviewer's Details:

Name:Sue Wiseman
Post:Nurse Consultant –Infection Control, DH
(Society / Organisation / Advisory Committee):
Member Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens
Health Protection Adviser Royal College of Nursing P/T
Member Infection Control Nurses Association

*** Note: These are the views of a professional expert rather than an official statement from his or her society, organisation or advisory committee.

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