Via The Guardian, health editor Sarah Boseley writes: Nurse faces tribunal over Pauline Cafferkey temperature reading. Excerpt:
A nurse who was lauded by the government as one of Britain’s heroes of the Ebola epidemic is facing a disciplinary tribunal, accused of concealing the high temperature of her colleague Pauline Cafferkey, who developed Ebola on her return from Sierra Leone.
Senior sister Donna Wood was the face of the volunteers in Medics Behind the Mask, an online feature made by the Department for International Development. She and Cafferkey were among the first 70 volunteers to leave the UK and spend Christmas 2014 in the Ebola treatment units of Sierra Leone, and were publicly thanked by Justine Greening, the then international development minister.
But Wood’s career could end over events at Heathrow airport when the volunteers flew home on 28 December 2014. All the returnees had to be screened to ensure they did not have a high temperature that might be the first sign of Ebola fever. Chaotic conditions and long delays were described in the screening unit, with too few staff to process the exhausted volunteer nurses and doctors, so they took each other’s temperatures.
When Cafferkey’s temperature was found to be high, Wood is alleged to have recorded it on the form as normal, saying they would then “get out of here and sort it out”. They were then allowed to leave the screening area.
Cafferkey later told another volunteer she had a high temperature and returned to the screening area, but she had taken paracetamol and her temperature was found to be within the normal range, so she was cleared to fly to Scotland, where she was taken ill.
Cafferkey was accused by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of misconduct, but was cleared on the grounds that she had already become too ill to understand the implications of her actions.