REDDITCH'S Alexandra Hospital has had to write to patients after a worker at the hospital was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB).

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust wrote to 141 patients and 28 members of staff at the end of September who may have come into contact with the healthcare worker working at the Alex Hospital who was subsequently diagnosed with TB - a bacterial infection spread by coughs or sneezes.

It has been reported that three people treated at the Alex have since been identified by GPs as being at risk of contracting the disease, but the trust said it was not aware of any patients infected by the worker.

Public Health England was alerted to the outbreak on September 6 and said while not all results of the patient screenings it recommended were available, there was so far no evidence of onward transmission.

It said those exposed to TB and their GPs should be mindful of symptoms which could present themselves "much later" than the point of contact.

Vicky Morris, chief nursing officer and director of infection prevention and control at the trust, said: “Whilst TB is a serious disease, the risk of catching TB infection is small.

"However, it is routine practice to inform anyone who may have had some contact with a case of TB in a hospital setting.

“As soon as the trust was made aware of the case, a full risk assessment was undertaken in partnership with Public Health England (West Midlands) to determine all patients and staff who may have had some contact."

She added: “Those identified have received information and advice about what to do in case of any concerns. This includes being able to call a dedicated helpline where advice can be sought from specialist TB nurses.”