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Guidance on treating suspected cases of Ebola

Post date: 23/10/2014 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 18/05/2020

This guidance from MPS has been prepared in light of the current concerns about the Ebola virus.

The Chief Medical Officer has issued an alert to all healthcare professionals, calling for vigilance and containing guidance on responding to suspected cases of the Ebola virus. You should follow this and all other applicable guidance, some of which is highlighted below.

Professional responsibilities

Whilst doctors and other healthcare professionals may be concerned about their own safety in the context of diagnosing and treating serious infectious diseases, the GMC has given clear guidance about a doctor’s responsibilities in such circumstances in Good Medical Practice:

“58. You must not deny treatment to patients because their medical condition may put you at risk. If a patient poses a risk to your health or safety, you should take all available steps to minimise the risk before providing treatment or making other suitable alternative arrangements for providing treatment.”

Other registered health professionals have similar obligations to their own regulator.

Stay informed

You should:

  • Be familiar with local and national guidance
  • Be familiar with available equipment, such as protective clothing
  • Raise any queries or concerns about the arrangements in line with your workplace policy.

Guidance is available from:

Public Health England has developed assessment algorithms as part of its guidance on the preparedness and response to Ebola patients. The most recent algorithm can be found here

Further advice from MPS

You are advised to follow the applicable guidance and protocols, including that of the GMC, but if you have more specific or detailed medicolegal queries, contact MPS on 0800 561 9090 or at querydoc@mps.org.uk.

If you are considering humanitarian aid work, contact MPS membership (0800 561 9000) for further advice.

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