Nurse faces suspension for concealing temperature to avoid ebola scare

Nurse faces suspension for concealing Pauline Cafferkey's temperature at Heathrow Airport in 2014

Pauline Cafferkey had been volunteering in West Africa

Friday, November 25, 2016

A nurse who suggested a lower temperature be recorded on Ms Cafferkey's screening form when she arrived back in the UK from Sierra Leone is facing being suspended or struck off. 

Pauline Cafferkey and Donna Wood were volunteer nurses returning from Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone who were screened at Heathrow Airport in December 2014, where it emerged Pauline Cafferkey had a raised temperature. 

The temperature should have raised the alarm to have her tested for the Ebola virus, but a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel found fellow nurse Donna Wood suggested a lower temperature be recorded on Ms Cafferkey's screening form. 

Three misconduct charges against her were proven after the panel found Wood was aware that Cafferkey's temperature was above the national threshold set by Public Health England, having been measured twice at 38.2C and 38.3C (101F), 

They found she'd suggested a lower temperature of 37.2C (99F) be recorded on the form so the group could leave the "uncomfortable" and "chaotic" Heathrow screening room quicker.

The NMC has ruled that Ms Wood's fitness to practice has now been impaired after the charges were proven, while her lawyer, Ben Rich told the hearing these were been "exceptional" circumstances concerning someone who had a 30-year unblemished record.

The panel will announce a decision, potentially including suspension or being struck off, today.