UK pharmacists have been urged to volunteer in the fight against Ebola in West Africa in an open letter from four of the most senior figures in UK healthcare.
The letter, signed by Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer at the Department of Health, says that staff wishing to help should register with the UK International Emergency Medical Register. It said that NHS funded organisations will have individual “leave policies” in place, but cautioned that “safe staffing levels and services are maintained in the NHS in England.”
A range of healthcare professionals may be required, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, psychologists, health information managers, logisticians and outreach managers, says the letter. At last count about 200 NHS staff had volunteered to work in West Africa.
One of the latest aid initiatives is the creation of a 62-bed treatment centre in Kerry Town, Sierra Leone, with the help of British military and humanitarian experts. The letter says the UK Government is working with Save the Children to design a long-term plan to manage and operate the facility after it has been fully set up. Staff at the centre will comprise local and international health workers.