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Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2007, 05:43 GMT 06:43 UK
Women offered Hepatitis C tests
A Lincolnshire hospital is contacting 62 women operated on by a gynaecologist who was carrying the Hepatitis C virus.

Boston's Pilgrim Hospital will tell the women the risk of infection was remote, and offer them blood tests.

The specialist, unaware he had the virus when he treated them a few years ago, passed it on to several patients, one of whom later died.

South Holland and Deepings MP John Hayes called for all doctors to be screened for Hepatitis C.

He said: "It does seem almost that consultants are a law unto themselves. Now that's not acceptable.

"I shall certainly be calling on the relevant authorities to ensure that all consultants that are involved in these kinds of procedures are screened."

Precautionary tests

The women in question have been offered the blood tests amid fears the gynaecologist in question may not have followed guidelines to minimise the risk of infection.

Lincolnshire's hospitals trust has managed to speak to 56 of the women so far, but emphasises the risk of infection is low.

The hospital trust's medical director Dr David Boldy said: "The risk of any patient being infected during a surgical procedure is remote.

"That risk has not increased because this gynaecologist has passed on the infection previously."

He added that there was a duty to contact women operated on by this specialist so they could be offered advice and blood tests as a precaution.

The trust said the gynaecologist had now been stopped from working at the hospital, a full investigation was under way and the General Medical Council had been contacted for professional advice.

Hepatitis C is an extremely infectious disease that attacks the liver.

The women are being offered blood tests

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