Royal College of General Practitioners launches ‘common sense’ guide to Ebola for GPs and their teams
The guidance – presented in the form of a card index – has been designed to ensure that patients receive the best and speediest care possible whilst protecting practice teams from possible contamination, in the event of the virus reaching the UK.
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.
Advice for patients is also included, with practical recommendations for what to do if they are in the GP practice or at home.
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 College has already set up a dedicated Ebola site on its website, bringing together the latest intelligence on the virus to support GPs, their teams and patients. Further information and resources will be added as they become available.
An article – GPs and the self-presenting Ebola patient – authored by Dr Stockley; Dr Imran Rafi, Chair of the RCGP’s Clinical Innovation and Research Centre, and RCGP Chair Dr Maureen Baker will be published in the next edition of the British Journal of General Practice.