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Practice Staff on ‘Ebola Front Line’

by in News, Staff

EBOLA! Don't panic. KeyboardIn another drive to safeguard the UK against an Ebola breakout, GP practice reception staff are now being briefed on how to deal with a suspected case either in person or over the phone.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt predicts ‘a handful’ of Ebola cases to reach the UK by Christmas, so a simple ‘common sense’ guide has been published by the Royal College of General Practitioners as a precautionary measure. Have you got yours yet?

Practice staff and managers are very much ‘on the front line’ for dealing with contagious diseases and potential crises like this, so RCGP Chair Dr Maureen Baker claims that it is essential for these individuals to know exactly what symptoms and criteria they should be aware of, and what to do in the case of an outbreak or incident. See the college’s own Ebola page here for up-to-the-minute advice and developments.

Handy index cards have been created with step-by-step advice on what to do in the event of a suspected Ebola case, with advice differentiated according to the job role of the individual doing the assessment, whether that’s a receptionist, practice manager or duty doctor.

Compiled and written by Dr Simon Stockley who has a long and successful history in preparing communities for health emergencies such as this, the approach taken is measured and ultimately common-sense. See this article for Action Card content arranged by job role of assessor.

These Ebola Action Cards are intended to ensure that suspected sufferers receive the best, rapid attention whilst simultaneously protecting patients, the public and staff from possible infection. Patients arriving at practices in person with Ebola-type symptoms will be sent to a dedicated isolation room within the building before being assessed over the phone by a doctor via an internal phone. The next step, if Ebola is suspected, is to contact an infectious disease specialist at the local hospital.

How is your clinic safeguarding you, your staff and patients against the risk of Ebola? Do you and your team feel prepared if a potential sufferer presents themselves in person or over the phone? Your comments are valuable to the PracticeIndex community, as always! 

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