Scots Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey ‘faces probe’

Pauline Cafferkey contracted Ebola after volunteering in Sierra Leone. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Pauline Cafferkey contracted Ebola after volunteering in Sierra Leone. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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PAULINE Cafferkey, the Scottish nurse who developed Ebola after flying home to Scotland from Sierra Leone, is reportedly under investigation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Ms Cafferkey, 39, and two colleagues, are the subject of a probe into the screening process at Heathrow Airport following their return from Africa, and face potential disciplinary action, according to Sky News.

Ms Cafferkey has not been suspended but faces an interim hearing during which restrictions may be placed on her ability to practise.

A spokesperson for Public Health England told Sky News: “During our recent assessment of the screening of some returning healthcare workers at Heathrow on 28 December, information emerged which needed to be passed to the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

“Since the introduction of screening in October, PHE has assessed over 4,000 individuals and this experience has been used by PHE to continuously strengthen the system.”

PHE added that the risk posed by Ebola to the general public still remains low.

Ms Cafferkey was returning to the UK after serving as a volunteer treating Ebola in Sierra Leone.

She flew into Heathrow, where the screening process measured her temperature seven times, before she was allowed to travel on to Glasgow. She fell ill with Ebola two days later and was transferred to an isolation unit at London’s Royal Free Hospital, making a full recovery despite being critically ill for a time.

A spokeswoman for the Nursing and Midwifery Council added: “Following information we received from Public Health England, we can confirm that we are investigating allegations about the conduct of three nurses.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

The investigation could last up to 18 months.


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