Cross-sectional study of Ebola virus disease preparedness among National Health Service hospital trusts in England.

Martin, TC; Chand, MA; Bogue, P; Aryee, A; Mabey, D; Douthwaite, SD; Reece, S; Stoller, P; Price, NM; (2015) Cross-sectional study of Ebola virus disease preparedness among National Health Service hospital trusts in England. The Journal of hospital infection, 91 (1). pp. 11-8. ISSN 0195-6701 DOI:

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BACKGROUND: The largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) is ongoing in West Africa. Air-travel data indicate that outside Africa, the UK is among the countries at greatest risk of importing a case of EVD. Hospitals in England were therefore instructed to prepare for the assessment and early management of suspected cases. However, the response of hospitals across England is undetermined.<br/> AIM: To evaluate the readiness of acute hospitals in England, and to describe the challenges experienced in preparing for suspected cases of EVD.<br/> METHODS: A cross-sectional study using semi-structured telephone interviews and online surveys of all acute National Health Service (NHS) hospital trusts in England (hospital trusts are the vehicle by which one or more NHS hospitals in a geographical area are managed).<br/> FINDINGS: In total, 112 hospital trusts completed the survey. All interviewed hospital trusts reported undertaking preparedness activities for suspected cases of EVD, and 97% reported that they were ready to assess suspected cases. Most hospital trusts had considered scenarios in accident & emergency (97%). However, fewer hospital trusts had considered specific obstetric (61%) and paediatric scenarios (79%), the provision of ventilatory and renal support (75%), or resuscitation in the event of cardiorespiratory arrest (56%). Thirty-four hospital trusts reported issues with timely access to category A couriers for sample transportation. Challenges included the choice, use and procurement of personal protective equipment (71%), national guidance interpretation (62%) and resource allocation/management support (38%).<br/> CONCLUSION: English hospital trusts have engaged well with EVD preparedness. Although subsequent national guidance has addressed some issues identified in this study, there remains further scope for improvement, particularly in a practical direction, for acute care services encountering suspected cases of EVD.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
PubMed ID: 26076808
Web of Science ID: 358680500003


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