Lewisham Hospital denies claims of “unprepared” response to suspected Ebola patient

Lewisham Hospital. Pic: Tom Bastin

Lewisham Hospital. Pic: Tom Bastin

Lewisham Hospital today denied reports in the Daily Mail that it had been had been “totally unprepared when a suspected Ebola patient walked into A&E” on Saturday.

A source in the hospital told the Mail that the staff treating the patient used facemasks and surgical gloves and not HAZMAT suits which were used in the practice drills around the country on the same day.

It was said that the patient was left alone most of the time as many of the staff were scared to treat him due to fear of contamination.

A representative for Lewisham Hospital assured ELL that the issue had been blown out of proportion and that staff have been fully briefed on what to do in case somebody with the virus visits the hospital. They said:

“Following a clinical assessment and advice from the Imported Fever Service Unit, the patient was identified as ‘low risk’ for Ebola.  They were always treated in isolation and all staff wore appropriate protective clothing.  As a low risk patient, they were allowed to see a visitor under controlled conditions, such as protective clothing.

“Tests have confirmed that the patient does not have the Ebola virus.

“It’s important to stress that we did follow robust and established systems that are in place to manage and care for people with suspected infectious diseases.

“We understand that cases like this can be alarming for staff, and it’s unfortunate someone has raised concerns publicly when the Trust did follow best practice guidelines. We will be speaking to staff to remind them of our protocols and procedures for infection control and to encourage them to let us know if they need any additional support.”

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