One in four women in Kent are missing out on smear tests for cervical cancer.
NHS Worker Arrested
A woman has been arrested on suspicion of posing as a registered nurse and treating patients at four GP surgeries in Chatham and Gillingham.
Police believe the woman, who had a background as a healthcare assistant gave 1,400 adults and under 16s vaccinations or cervical smear tests between August 2006 and September last year (for details of the specific surgeries and dates see below).
It is not thought anyone's health has been harmed, but letters are being sent out informing those people who were affected, and in some cases inviting them back in for another jab or test.
A helpline number has also been set up for any patients who are still concerned or who would like further information. That number is 0345 602 9904.
NHS Kent and Medway says it was first alerted by police in July when a woman from Brecon in Wales was arrested on suspicion of fraud. She has since been released on bail. Since then a thorough NHS internal investigation of medical records and procedures has been carried out.
Dr Caroline Jessel, assistant medical director for NHS Kent and Medway said: "A committee of experts has investigated, looking at the procedures that she undertook in the four practices.
"We have looked at records and we have done a survey of patients that died over that period, and we have looked at all procedures. In some cases her work was overseen but when she was in the Medway practices she was mainly working without another professional in the room.
"We have also checked and we are not aware of any complaints about this person at any stage during their employment.
Officials said the practices that employed her had no knowledge of any wrong-doing.
Dr James Thallon, medical co-director for NHS Kent and Medway, said: "As a purely precautionary measure, we have written to some patients individually to invite them to be seen again.
"Patients can be reassured that if they have not received a letter they do not need to do anything further.''
The practices the woman worked at are:
14-19 Sept 2006 Dr SKC Patel and Partners, Woodside, Wigmore.
13 Nov 2006 - end of Feb 2007 Drs S B Bhasme, 19 Railway Street, Gillingham
24 June 2008 - 9 Jan 2009 Dr BN Singh, Brompton Medical Centre, Garden street, Brompton, Gillingham
1 Aug 2006 - end of Sept 2010 Dr SS Aly and PB Raval, (formerly Dr Khan/Dr Phiroz) New Road, Chatham
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