Preparing for the threat of an Ebola epidemic
Exercise tested how emergency services would handle situation
IT IS a glimpse of a nightmare we all hope is never going to come true.
Someone has walked into a British hospital with symptoms of the killer virus, Ebola. Health experts in full protective suits swing into action.
At the weekend, Hillingdon Hospital was one of only two places in Britain to test their readiness should this happen in reality.
Train for the worst, hope for the best – Ebola drill in pictures.
HILLINGDON Hospital has carried out an ‘Ebola drill’.
The hospital took part in the major training exercise on Saturday to test the preparedness of emergency services for an outbreak.
It was one of only two areas in the UK chosen to act out a scenario which was filmed in real time by the Department of Health for training purposes, said a spokesman.
The video footage was shown on BBC News on Monday evening.
The scenario involved an individual walking into the hospital in Pield Heath Road with flu-like symptoms, having recently returned from West Africa.
The ‘patient’ was isolated and transferred to Royal Free Hospital, which has a specialist isolation unit.
Noreen Rice, Hillingdon Hospital’s emergency care services manager, said: “We have learned things from this experience today.
“The more you practice the better you get, and it was really useful to help us test out just how prepared we are for dealing with a incident like this. I am confident that we can manage these situations.”
The doctor who managed the patient care during the drill, Amy Bibby, the hospital’s senior house officer, said: “It’s been really rewarding to be involved with this exercise.
“I’m glad to be able to help test out our procedures and hopefully it will help other colleagues with their planning in the future.”
n VITAL TRAINING: A clinician wears protective clothing from head to toe to examine an Ebola ‘patient’ during a readiness drill similar to that carried out at Hillingdon Hospital
Photo courtesy of Department of Health
n EXPERIENCE: Staff take part in the Ebola training drill
Photos by Ann-Marie Sanderson