latest health care news


Senior medical chiefs ask for NHS volunteers to fight Ebola

Some of England’s most senior medical leaders have written to NHS staff asking them to volunteer to fight the Ebola outbreak by treating victims in West Africa.

A letter signed by Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer at the Department of Health; Prof Paul Cosford, medical director at Public Health England; Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director at NHS England and Jane Cummings, the chief nursing officer, asks for volunteers to staff a new hospital in Sierra Leone.

The Department for International Development is working with the British military and humanitarian experts to set up a purpose-built, 62-bed treatment facility. It will comprise of a 12-bed unit to treat infected healthcare workers and a co-located 50 bed unit for treating ordinary citizens infected with the disease.

The letter, addressed to NHS trust medical directors and directors of nursing, says: “Roles that may be required include medical practitioners, nursing staff, paramedics, pharmacists, psychologists, health information managers, logisticians and outreach managers. Examples of the roles required can be found on the UK-Med website.

“Initial help is requested from those with previous experience but we anticipate that as the situation develops, those with generic skills will be welcomed.”

It goes on to set out requirements and how to organise leave with organisations at home. The letter signs off “please do consider volunteering”.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest ever recorded with at least 5,335 cases recorded and 2,622 deaths. The countries affected are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

(Image: c. AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Turning blue lights green

11/04/2019Turning blue lights green

Polly Billington, director of UK100, a cities network that campaigns on env... more >
Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

10/04/2019Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Steve Hams, director of quality and chief nurse at Gloucestershire Hospital... more >


How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

System working in an uncertain world

09/05/2019System working in an uncertain world

What, exactly, is an integrated care system? Well, it’s unclear, writes Kacey Cogle, policy advisor at NHS Providers. On the NHS England website, integrated care sy... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >