Ebola Nurse Faces Disciplinary Hearing
13 September 2016, 06:07
Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey is facing a disciplinary hearing linked to her return to the UK with the virus.
The case of the Scottish medical worker, who was infected with the virus while working in Sierra Leone in December 2014, will be heard at a fitness to practise hearing in Edinburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It is not known whether Ms Cafferkey will attend the hearing and details of the finalised charges to be considered by the panel have not yet been released by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
But in draft allegations which emerged last month, the nurse was accused of concealing her temperature during checks on her return to the UK from the West African country, and alleged to have given dishonest answers to medical staff during screening at Heathrow.
The NMC, which has been investigating Ms Cafferkey's conduct, alleged at that stage that she "allowed an incorrect temperature to be recorded'' on December 29 2014 and "intended to conceal from Public Health England staff that you had a temperature higher than 38C''.
It was claimed she did not tell Public Health England screening staff who took her temperature at the airport that she had recently taken paracetamol and that she left the area without reporting her true temperature.
Registered nurse Ms Cafferkey travelled to Sierra Leone at the height of the Ebola crisis to work with the sick.
She returned to London and then travelled on to Scotland before being diagnosed, and spent almost a month being treated in an isolation unit at London's Royal Free Hospital.
The volunteer recovered but was readmitted to hospital on two separate occasions after suffering complications linked to the disease, and at one stage fell critically ill.
The NMC has the power to strike workers off the professional register.
In July, Ms Cafferkey spoke of her stress over the fact that the misconduct allegations remained unresolved more than 18 months on from her return to the UK.
She told The Sunday Telegraph: "I don't know why it has not been finished. It's very stressful. It would be nice to have closure.''
After details of the draft charges emerged in August, an NMC spokesman said: "Since the NMC's case examiners considered the allegations and drafted charges, we have received further evidence.
"The final charges the panel will consider will be determined in light of this new material.''
Ms Cafferkey said the NMC apologised for mistakenly releasing the allegations on their website in advance of the hearing.