An A&E consultant who went on a mercy mission to treat Ebola sufferers should return to work shortly.
Dr Roger Alcock was among the first group of NHS volunteers to travel to Sierra Leone.
A consultant in emergency medicine at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, he is understood to have returned to the UK around the same time as community healthcare nurse Pauline Cafferkey of Cambuslang. She was diagnosed with Ebola shortly after her return and is currently being treated in an isolation ward at London’s Royal Free Hospital.
Dr Alcock underwent rigorous training prior to his trip to Freetown, which included three weeks of annual leave. This included learning more about assessing and diagnosing suspected cases of Ebola, and performing routine tasks while wearing the head-to-toe protective suits.
Before leaving, Dr Alcock said: “This is a medical humanitarian crisis and urgent medical help is required. it is important that we control and contain the virus to prevent its spread outwith West Africa.”
He is no stranger to working abroad having previously been in Namiba, Cuba, Peru, China, Nepal, Tanzania and Malawi.
Detailing the checks in place for health workers returning from Sierra Leona, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Once they have arrived back home, their details are passed to local health protection teams to oversee their monitoring. “The returnees are given temperature monitoring kits and are told to test twice a day for 21 days. This temperature must be reported to their monitor, even if normal, to ensure that contact is maintained throughout the 21 day period and any fever or other symptoms are picked up without delay.”
Following news of Miss Cafferkey’s Ebola infection, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hailed the “quiet heroism” of the nurse and others who “make all of us safer by placing themselves at risk”.
Officials from Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland are now reviewing the UK’s screening procedures for Ebola.