"NO confidentiality, HIV divulged to work!"

About: The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

Had a problem regarding confidentiality (HIV Treatment 'somehow' leaked) found out that Newcroft Sexual Health Centre (who I had never been to or contacted) had been told by letter by the doctor at the RVI department treating me- they also wrote to my GP. and left a message (seriously! ) on my work phone.

Despite making it clear on numerous occasions I did not want anyone to be written to. Got a letter to my house from them and when I complained I was treated very badly indeed. Very defensive, very petty and not a thing has been done. The complaints procedure wasn't followed by NHS Newcastle (Still no idea what went wrong! ) - NHS England "Do not investigate Complaints" and Department of Health "Cannot get involved in individual cases"

HIV hasn't ruined my life. NHS Newcastle has undermined it to a point where I haven't been back in over six months, I have de- registered from every NHS 'thing' I can think of. Lamentable, utterly disgraceful.

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Response from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback on Patient Opinion. The Trust takes the issue of patient confidentiality very seriously and has policies in place to ensure it meets its obligations in this respect to protect the confidentiality of its patients at all times. If any concerns were to be raised, please be assured that they would be fully investigated and addressed.

Update posted by DGH (the patient)

"The Trust takes the issue of patient confidentiality very seriously" in my experience this is untrue. The trust failed to follow it's own complaints policy and furthermore told me that they would involve my work partners to bring about resolution - I replied stating that involving my work partners would be the most damaging thing and could not appear to be more targeted as I work with them on a daily basis. The Trust did it anyway - so, thanks for your assurance relating to your 'confidentiality policy'- it is either inadequate or someone failed to follow the policy and divulged my status to my work partners - if that is your policy in my opinion your policy writers should leave their jobs after tearing these 'policies' up. In my opinion the people I dealt with are cowards and liars and they try to defend their own mistakes. Please do not respond to this as my blood is boiling!

Update posted by DGH (the patient)

Just thought I would update this a bit... since I posted about the problems I experienced in late 2013 through to Early 2014.

The background to it was that I was (correctly so) offered partner tracing at their GUM clinic (New Croft House) I declined because it had been several months since I had been diagnosed and I had been responsible and informed the few partners over the 2 years since an 'all clear' test result. To recap, I found out I was HIV positive and that same evening I spoke to those three partners.

This partner tracing was mentioned numerous times with an increasing pressure over a few appointments until I felt I had to make it perfectly clear what I had already done. I did that three times on separate appointments. was told I could follow "his" clinical path or he could have me transferred to Sunderland if I preferred- this was certainly not made as a friendly offer of referral.

Some weeks later my work mobile got a call, picked up by my clerk asking me to call a number. (I learned some time later that our clerk googled it and the number was New Croft GUM clinic). A few days later a family member working in that same establishment approached me (in a very unfriendly manner) and told me that they had received a letter from ward 19, RVI. This being despite me categorically telling the consultant not to do so- repeatedly. I had already informed 'all my partners' months earlier, there was no need to do that and I had declined that 'offer' repeatedly.

The latest update is that now, over a year after asking repeatedly for my blood counts, 'variety' of HIV (I think there are many strains?) and any other relevant clinical information I still have not had a reply. I have asked repeatedly for it, my request was acknowledged but no information was given.

Result: well, who knows? I cannot and have not been able to get any treatment ever since but I do buy the same pills I had then. This is hugely pricey.

If you have a life threatening issue and you have the luxury of time- pick somewhere else for treatment.