The Ebola crisis has revealed some inadequacies with screening and the flow of patients through processes like decontamination. Infection control must be the bedrock of all health systems

Jill Lockett, director of performance and delivery of King’s Health Partners, says their work has confirmed that consistent and solid infection control practice is the bedrock of all health systems.

This includes:

  • the use of personal protective equipment;
  • the way that healthcare professionals work in pairs on decontamination and disrobing; and
  • the care pathway through the isolation facilities to treatment and discharge.

She says: “It’s important to be aware how valuable these UK guidelines have been in keeping the teams and patients safe and that our most significant learning is about working alongside government and in government facilities to implement and spread these guidelines.”

‘Consistent infection control practice is the bedrock of all health systems’

King’s College London teaching fellow Oliver Johnson says that preventing cross contamination through detailed flow measures is vital. “We have red zones, orange zones and green zones, and a lot of our work is looking at the flow of patients and staff to make sure there’s no cross contamination,” he says.

“When you look at the infections in the US and Spain, our impression is that they may have been taught in the classroom to wear hazmat suits, but the screening and flow of patients and practical experience with processes like decontamination may have been inadequate.”