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Guidance for staff intending to travel to, or returning from, Ebola affected countries

The on-going outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, primarily affecting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization. This is the largest outbreak of this disease to ever happen. 

Ebola is a severe and life threatening viral disease caused by the Ebola virus. The onset of illness is sudden, with fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, sore throat and intense weakness. This is then followed by diarrhea, vomiting, rash, impaired kidney and liver function and stomach pain. Some patients may develop a rash, red eyes, hiccups, internal and external bleeding.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever is fatal in between 50 to 90% of all clinically ill cases. Ebola is spread through direct contact with blood and body fluids from infected people. The incubation period ranges from 2 to 21 days. Anyone who has close contact with a person infected with the virus, or someone who handles samples from patients are at risk. This includes hospital staff, family members and laboratory workers, all of whom are at risk if they do not use appropriate protective equipment / barrier nursing techniques. These precautions include wearing protective gowns, gloves, and masks, in addition to wearing eye protection (e.g. eye goggles) or a face shield.

The government advises against all but essential travel to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea except for those involved in the direct response to the Ebola outbreak. It remains unlikely but not impossible that travellers infected in one of the affected countries could arrive in the UK while incubating the disease and develop symptoms after their return. Although the likelihood of imported cases is very low, travellers returning to the UK from the affected areas, particularly those who have been involved in health care overseas, need to remain vigilant.

For staff who are planning to visit Ebola affected countries:

The agency requests that staff follow FCO advice and do not place themselves at risk of infection. The agency recognises that some staff may have family in one of the affected countries but it does not consider essential travel to include, for example, visiting family at Christmas. If staff choose not to follow the FCO advice and travel to one of the affected countries, this may then result in work restrictions and / or exclusion upon return as noted in the scenarios below.

All staff who travel to one of the Ebola affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) irrespective of the reason for travel (personal or work related) must contact the agency prior to leaving the UK and on return to the UK, prior to their return to work.

Existing staff who have visited Ebola affected countries - this will mainly apply to those who have visited affected countries for the purpose of charity and/or healthcare work.

If no healthcare work was undertaken whilst in one of the Ebola affected countries, and staff had no direct contact with a known or suspected Ebola, including attending a funeral, staff should:

  • Inform the agency prior to departure 
  • Monitor their health / temperature for 21 days from leaving the affected country
  • If the staff member becomes unwell with symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat or rash within 21 days of coming back from Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone, they should stay at home and immediately telephone 111 or 999 and explain that they have recently visited West Africa. These services will initiate the appropriate care pathway 
  • They must keep in touch with the agency prior to return to work
  • Staff member will be able to return to work after 21 days

If healthcare work was undertaken abroad or the staff member had direct contact with an Ebola case e.g. routine medical / nursing care but wore appropriate protective clothing with no known breaches in the personal protective equipment (PPE), the staff member should:

  • Inform the agency prior to departure 
  • Check temperature twice daily for 21 days after return and report any raised temperature or other suspicious symptoms to the monitoring team at Public Health England (PHE)
  • Must provide Occupational Health with documentary evidence from their Voluntary Aid agency / affiliated health care institution who organised the overseas placement outlining the extent of their exposure and specific detail regarding the PPE used
  • Contact the agency prior to return to work
  • Staff member will be able to return to work after 21 days and monitoring completed

If healthcare work was undertaken abroad or the staff member had direct contact with an Ebola case and may have had unprotected exposure of skin or mucous membranes to potentially infectious blood or body fluids, including on clothing or bedding, for example:

  • Unprotected handling of clinical/lab specimens
  • Mucosal exposure to splashes
  • Needlestick injury
  • Kissing and / or sexual contact

The staff member should:

  • Inform the agency prior to departure 
  • Check temperature twice daily for 21 days after return and REPORT DAILY to the
  • Monitoring Team at Public Health England (PHE) even if the temperature is normal and the staff member is not experiencing any suspicious symptoms

Staff member will be able to return to work after 21 days and monitoring is completed.

For more information about the Ebola virus disease, see:

Government UK
NHS Choices: Ebola and Overview
Ebola virus disease: clinical management and guidance
Ebola virus disease: information for humanitarian aid workers

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Meeting Standards for Nursing & Care Agencies: New CQC Report

A24 Group nursing and care agencies are registered with the UK's Care Quality Commission. They are regularly inspected to ensure they meet the National Minimum Standards for nursing and domiciliary care agencies.

These external checks complement our own program of internal reviews and audits that help ensure all our nursing agencies are operating to the very highest levels of care. To find out more about the CQC's inspection of A24 Group, you can see the latest report here on the provision of care to people in their own homes - or visit the Care Quality Commission website.

The new report inspected service provision in the following key areas:

1. Care and welfare of people who use services
People should get safe and appropriate care that meets their needs and supports their rights.

2. Cooperating with other providers
People should get safe and coordinated care when they move between different services.

3. Requirements relating to workers
People should be cared for by staff who are properly qualified and able to do their job.

4. Staffing
There should be enough members of staff to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs.

5. Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision
The service should have quality checking systems to manage risks and assure the health, welfare and safety of people who receive care.

6. Records
People’s personal records, including medical records, should be accurate and kept safe and confidential.

For more information: 

View our Contact Details

You can also visit our Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter or add us on Google+


 

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Ten tips on Agency Nursing: How to get the Best out of your Nursing Agency

  1. Register with several nursing agencies: to increase the opportunity for agency work, you can register just once through the A24 Group to work with five different group agencies
     
  2. Tell the agency when you will be free to work: the on-line web diary A24 Connect enables nurses and HCAs to log their future availability. Update the diary at least weekly.
     
  3. Keep in touch by phone: find out which agency consultants deal with the area where you choose to work. E-mail the names of the towns and hospitals. Then phone the consultants at least monthly so they get to know you and the sort of work you want.
     
  4. Be flexible in your availability: it will help the consultants find you work if they know that you will accept jobs at short notice; or if you will work some evenings, weekends or Bank Holidays. These shifts can offer more, higher-paying shifts
     
  5. Stay compliant: after you register and have on-line access through A24 Connect, ensure annual certifications are kept up-to-date: such as for training and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
     
  6. Consider work further afield: you can update your ‘Work Areas’ in A24 Connect – the geographical locations to which you are happy to travel for shifts. The agency consultants will search for and offer shifts according to the areas you've chosen.
     
  7.  Do you have specialist skills? ICU, PICU or SCBU trained for example? There is high demand for specialist nurses. Current certificates are essential to prove your speciality. Also, if you do specialist training on an annual basis in your permanent job - such as Ventilator, Tracheostomy, IV administration – please inform the agency.
     
  8. Web Social Media: it’s worth registering for the agencies’ FacebookGoogle+LinkedIn and Twitter pages so that you are up to date on agency news, job opportunities, tips and advice
     
  9. Your feedback: your comments are always welcome. Let the agency know if there is anything you are unhappy about or you think could be done differently - or issues you have in the workplace. Good agencies are grateful for feedback
     
  10. Tell a friend: if you have friends or colleagues who are interested in medical agency work – as a nurse, HCA, AHP or locum doctor - then do please tell them about the agency group. You could post on Facebook

     
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A24 Group Opens in Pitsea, Essex

The A24 Group today announced the opening of a new branch in the planned programme of expansion of its UK network. The office is at:

Suite 1
Broadway Chambers
High Road
Pitsea, Essex 
SS13 3AS

The medical staffing group also has branches in Bristol, Sutton, Grantham, Portsmouth and Walsall. Agency nurses and other care staff can visit branch offices at any time between the opening hours of 8am - 5pm Monday - Friday. No appointment is necessary.

The A24 Group is a privately-owned staffing agency. It has traded successfully since 1996 and now operate on two continents, in the UK and South Africa. We supply locum doctors, agency nurses, AHPs and HCA care assistants to healthcare service organisations, who include hospitals and primary care providers, prisons and care homes, insurance and other companies. We also supply catering and industrial staff to service providers. 

For more information please contact us:

Click here for our Contact Details

You can also visit our Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter or on Google+ 

 

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Grosvenor Nursing's new website

Grosvenor Nursing, a member of the A24 medical staffing group, has launched a new website at www.grosvenor-nursing.co.uk where the agency lists the full range of jobs and services. Grosvenor has vacancies for all specialisations including SPMH Mental Health, SPLD Learning Disabilities, SCMH Community Mental Health, and SCLD Community Learning Disabilities nurses.

Since 1986 Grosvenor Nursing has achieved a reputation amongst UK nursing agencies for delivering a quality service to candidates as well as care service providers who include Care Homes, Hospitals, Prisons, Primary Care Trusts and Mental Health Trusts.

At Grosvenor Nursing each consultant assists candidates to find the most suitable shifts, to meet their work and career goals. The consultants have a detailed understanding of the staffing needs of the mental health care sector. This means that Grosvenor Nursing is able to offer a responsive and accurate service for mental health staffing, 24-7.

Grosvenor Nursing has been part of the A24 Group since 2010 when the medical staffing group acquired BNA, The British Nursing Association, and its associated nursing agency brands Grosvenor Nursing and Mayfair Specialist Nurses. Read more about this acquisition here.

On the new site, visitors can find online registrationpay rates for all grades of staff as well as the latest jobs and vacancies. Care service providers can also find the information they need for selecting an agency to meet their needs.

Candidates who are interested in working with the agency can register on the web site for free by clicking here. Care Service Providers wishing to speak to a consultant directly regarding their needs can find contact details by clicking here

Candidates and care providers can also visit Grosvenor's Facebook, follow the agency on Twitter or on Google+.

 

 

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