News Professional Discipline 18th Nov 2016

Ben Rich Defends Nurse Accused of Falsifying Temperature Record of Colleague Who Got Ebola

Ben Rich has been defending Donna Wood, one of a group of British nurses who went to Sierra Leone in November 2014 to treat patients with Ebola.

When the group returned to Heathrow Airport at the end of December 2014, one them, Pauline Cafferkey, had a high temperature. It can be an early sign of Ebola and she went on to develop a severe case of the deadly and infectious disease. She survived after specialist medical treatment in London.

It emerged that Ms Cafferkey’s temperature had been taken by one of her colleagues soon after she landed at Heathrow, but the reading on her screening form showed it as normal. After she left the screening area she told health officials about the raised reading and was retested. By then her temperature had dropped, possibly as a result of taking paracetamol, and she was allowed to fly on to her home in Scotland. She was admitted to hospital in Glasgow in the early hours of the following morning.

Ms Wood faces allegations that she suggested that Ms Cafferkey’s temperature should be recorded lower than it was, and that they should sort out the problem outside the screening area. Giving evidence she described that suggestion as “preposterous” and stated that she would never have taken such a risk.

Ben was instructed by Helen Churchill of the Royal College of Nursing.

To read more about the case, please click on the following links: BBC | Guardian | Telegraph

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