Step-by-step guides to help practices deal with an Ebola outbreak have been published today by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
The guidance – presented in the form of a card index – has been designed to ensure that patients receive the best care possible while protecting practice teams from possible contamination.
Aimed at individual members of the GP practice team, including receptionists and call handlers, practice managers, and duty doctors, it outlines their specific duties and responsibilities if a patient presents with Ebola-type symptoms or rings the surgery for advice.
Compiled by Dr Simon Stockley, a GP from Stockton-On-Tees who has a long track record in preparing for health emergencies, the cards provide a practical and common-sense approach to the current crisis, as well as much-needed reassurance for staff and patients in general practice.
RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker said: “The threat of Ebola to the UK remains low but GPs and practice staff are on the front line of dealing with contagious diseases and they need to be fully aware of what steps to take in order to protect patients and themselves, should an incident or potential incident arise.
“Dr Stockley has an impressive background in emergency preparedness and we are delighted to be working with him on such an important initiative. His guidance takes a calm, measured and common sense approach to the current situation – exactly what general practice needs.
“It will reassure all members of the GP practice team and should make all frontline health professionals feel more prepared and confident about handling any potential incident.”
The guidance is available to view on the dedicated Ebola page on the RCGP website. The page brings together the latest intelligence on the virus to support GPs, their teams and patients.