Investigation has revealed that a senior nurse was guilty of concealing the true temperature of an Ebola survivor – Pauline Cafferkey – and thus has been suspended for two months.
As explained by the disciplinary panel, the action that Donna Wood took was serious but not premeditated.
Ms Cafferkey and Mrs Wood were some of the volunteers who returned from Sierra Leone after having gone to the country to help fight Ebola.
Shortly afterwards, Ms Cafferkey was diagnosed with the virus.
Ms Cafferkey’s high temperature, recorded at Heathrow Airport on 28 December 2014, should have triggered concerns that she was infected with the deadly virus.
But the disciplinary panel’s investigation findings was that Mrs Wood requested a lower temperature be recorded on Ms Cafferkey’s form so that they could easily get a passport.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) panel further found out that Mrs Wood was guilty for having failed to raise alarm over the condition that Cafferkey was.
The panel had the option of striking off Mrs Wood, a senior sister at Stoke-on-Trent hospital, but said that doing so would not have served the interest of the public.
It went on to explain that chances were minimal that Wood would repeat the same behavior and that staying at home for long would negatively impact her career.
She has served for more than 30 years as a nurse without any blame.
The screening process demanded that upon their arrival at Heathrow in 2014, Mrs Wood and Ms Cafferkey take each other’s temperature.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council panel found that Mrs Wood was aware that Ms Cafferkey’s temperature, which had been measured twice at 38.2C and 38.3C, was raised and was above the threshold of 37.5C, which would have alerted officials to a potential warning sign for Ebola.
But instead of writing the correct figures, Mrs Wood said: “let’s put it down as 37.2 and get out of here and sort it out later”.