Pauline Cafferkey: British Ebola survivor may face potential investigation

Nurse, who worked in Sierra Leone, has now made a full recovery and been discharged from hospital

The British nurse who survived Ebola is facing an investigation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Pauline Cafferkey, the first person to be diagnosed with the deadly virus in the UK, is reportedly being investigated over the screening process she and two colleagues underwent at Heathrow Airport after flying from Sierra Leone, according to a Sky News report.

A spokesperson for Public Health England confirmed that during a “recent assessment” of the procedures undergone by three returning health workers “information emerged which needed to be passed to the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council.”

In a statement given to The Independent, a spokesperson added: “We are aware that the regulators are now considering the matter and it would be inappropriate for PHE to comment further at this time.”

The 39-year-old nurse, who returned from Sierra Leone to Glasgow in December, has not been suspended from her duties but faces an interim hearing.

The investigation could last up to 18 months.

However, the investigation is understand to be more concerned with the possible risk to the public than punitive action against the nurse, the Guardian reports.


The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) told The Independent: “We are investigating allegations about the conduct of three nurses. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

Although Ms Cafferkey’s temperature was tested seen times before she began her onward journey, and she was cleared to fly, she still fell ill a few days after her return.

She was transferred from the Unit for Infectious Disease, in Gartnavel hospital campus, Glasgow, to the Royal Free Hospital, north London, where she was treated in isolation for a week.

She has now made a full recovery.