SERVICES: Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust is recalling around 1,700 people who were tested for syphilis at any of the sexual health clinics in Gateshead, between April 2010 and June 2011, for repeat tests.

The trust says that a “potential error” means that those who were told they had a negative test were in face positive - although it says the repeat tests are a precaution and it is extremely unlikely that any will be positive.

The trust has also retested samples from around 4,000 pregnant women who were tested during this period. All have been negative but around 100 of the samples were insufficient to allow retesting and the trust is also contacting those women to ask them to take a repeat test.