Would You Risk Your Life For A Patient?

The Ebola epidemic has been a serious concern globally for the past few months. However, it is not until very recently that the virus had started to spread to the US. Cases have plastered our TV Screens and Internet pages for cases of persons who were infected with the disease.

Although we can be sure some of the coverage could be down to moral panic, what is very real and true, is the severity of the disease. The disease has been in the African continent since 1976, and remains a problem today. There is still no known cure, only aggressive treatment, trials, and quarantine for infected patients.

The most recent case story to cover the news we found here.

Two nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, in the US caught the disease when treating Thomas Eric Duncan. Although Duncan himself did not survive the disease, and treatment was unsuccessful, the nurses did indeed survive.

What we want to question is; would you risk your life too? Is it in the job description, or simply human nature?

Here at Primary Care People we invest a lot of time in our Doctors and Nurses, ensuring they are treated well and feel happy, and safe within their jobs. What shocked us about this particular story was the reason used for the spread of this disease. It has been stated:

‘Healthcare workers are using protective clothing such as full-body suits and goggles, but hundreds have still died.’[1]

However in this case:

‘Nurses working at the hospital have said they were given little guidance and inadequate protective clothing to deal with the infection.’[2]

Therefore it is reasonable to say the risk factor was incredibly higher, yet, both nurses still committed to their jobs. Although, it has been said that any successful treatments or vaccinations are given to healthcare workers first. It is down to our Doctors and Nurses to continue to save our lives, and relieve patients of their pain to the best of their ability? If they are not well, or suffer themselves, then how can further patients be helped? What is shocking about this case, is the treatment of these nurses and the apparent lack of guidance when dealing with this worldwide disease.

But what would you do? Surely, it is human instinct to help one another?

Duncan himself caught the virus[3] from helping an infected 19 year old, pregnant woman with whom he house shared with in Liberia. She too died, as did fellow members of her family, but it did not stop him from trying, and risking his own life.

We are lucky enough in our countries to be treated. To have the abilities, funding and staff to attempt to save and secure as many lives as possible. Those in Liberia and other African Countries have not – for the most part – been as lucky.

Yet Nurses still took the risk to help save another man’s life, regardless of being, or feeling fully equipped in their position. We are sure many nurses would too vouch for this. The nature of a nurse is to care, and selflessly look after their patients.

What we can think about is, is the question really on the threat of the US citizenships? Or is it on the nature of how we care for one another?

Here at Primary Care People, the office discussed this piece ourselves, and we felt it admirable anyone would risk their life for another, especially regarding such a deadly disease. Which reiterates for us the fundamental work of nurses who work on these cases.

We are not alone in this thinking either;

‘Mr Obama has praised healthcare workers’ ongoing response to the medical crisis, saying they are doing “God’s work” and their efforts must be supported.’[4]

There is one thing funding the money for Ebola and testing treatments, but nurses do not have that answer or job in their hands, they are simply there to help no matter the case, and we appreciate their care.
We’d still like to hear what you think! Please share your thoughts and comments with us.

Facts for you:

  • Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage
  • Spread by body fluids, such as blood and saliva
  • Fatality rate can reach 90% – but current outbreak has mortality rate of about 70%
  • Incubation period is two to 21 days
  • There is no proven vaccine or cure
  • Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery
  • Fruit bats, a delicacy for some West Africans, are considered to be virus’s natural host

[1] BBC News, (2014). Ebola basics: What you need to know. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Oct. 2014].

[2] BBC News, (2014). Could the virus spread in the US?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Oct. 2014].

[3], (2014). U.S. Patient Aided Pregnant Liberian, Then Took Ill – [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Oct. 2014].

[4] BBC News, (2014). Could the virus spread in the US?.

New addition to the Compliance Department at Primary Care People!

The team here at Primary Care People is excited to welcome Sarah, our new compliance administrator, to our Compliance Department. Sarah’s compassionate nature and strong work ethic really stood out to us as ideal traits needed in the role due to the nature of the industry we work in. We believe she will be a great addition to the team!

Primary Care People operates in the medical recruitment sector and we are very determined to raise the standards in the industry. In order to do this we work hard to attract the right candidates; who share our views and are committed to providing a high standard of service. We are always on the lookout for dedicated, compassionate, hardworking individuals to join our team.

We sat down with Sarah to get to know her better;

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

The three words I would use to describe myself are Caring, Passionate and Inquisitive.

What motivates you?

The opportunity to better myself motivates me, or doing something that will help someone else in the process. I think anything you can do to make someone’s circumstances better is definitely worth doing.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy reading and going to the gym. In my spare time I write for online music magazines. I am very passionate about music and enjoy reviewing the latest tunes.

What’s your favourite type of music?

I love music so I listen to a variety of genres. But my favourite genres are Rock and Acoustic!

Who inspires you?

My parents inspire me most because they are very hardworking people. I admire their work ethic and will strive to adopt it in my professional career. There are also a few authors and philosophers that inspire me to achieve what I wish to. Woody Allen & Russell Brand are pretty great too!

Where did you attend university?

I attended the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.

What did you enjoy most about university?

I really enjoyed learning and understanding new theories. University really broadened my knowledge about the world and supplemented my understanding of life and the various ways in which we perceive occurrences.

How has university prepared you for your new role?

University has really honed my organisational skills. After completing university, there was no time to sit around and wait for work. I had to be prepared and I think my organisational skills helped me to be successful at my interview. I believe organisational skills will also be very important in my new role.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I am very passionate about making the world a better place, so in future I want to continue taking on projects that will make a difference. I would also like to see more of the world so travelling the world is definitely in my plans for the next 5 years.

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I haven’t been to many places but my heart is set on going to Antigua.

Welcome to the team Sarah!

Will the New Primary Care Model proposed by Simon Stevens resolve the crisis evident in General Practice?

Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive Officer of NHS England recently proposed an innovative new model of care which will integrate general practice and hospital services in order to provide more tailored, consistent and continuous patient care.

This new system would replace the traditional segregated approach to healthcare which saw gp services being provided independent of most specialist hospital services.

New model of Primary Care
The new model of primary care would include the establishment of a number of GP surgeries in hospitals. General Practitioners will also be encouraged to set up group practices serviced by both GPs and hospital consultants. This model could have a positive impact on healthcare as patients would receive holistic care because various specialists can deliberate on the right treatment to administer.

Moreover, NHS England has highlighted that the model would not be implemented using a national strategy as GPs in rural and urban areas would have the discretion to adopt and tailor the model to suit the needs of their patients. This is a wise move as one size fits all NHS strategies have not been successful in the past.

However, this new model could also bring about a number of challenges. Firstly, there is currently a noteworthy shortage of GPs. What’s more, over 500 surgeries may be closing as a large number of GPs will be retiring in the near future. This raises the question of where the NHS will find GPs to fill the roles required in the new hospital based surgeries.

Inadequate GP Staff
Additional questions also arise as to why the NHS isn’t training an adequate number of general practitioners to replace current doctors who will soon meet retirement age. One of the suggested reasons for the decline in general practitioners is that many medical students shun this area of medicine in favour of other specialities.

If this is the case, the NHS needs to implement initiatives that will incentivise medical students to become general practitioners. Perhaps additional medical students should also be trained as general practice is not the only speciality that is suffering due to shortages. It is evident that major changes are needed in the NHS to cope with the challenges that are currently being faced.

Insufficient Resources
Dr Maureen Baker, Chairman of the RCGP, stated that GPs do not have adequate resources to meet demands for patient care especially if we experience an aggressive winter. On a positive note, Simon Stevens has pledged supplementary primary care funds to cope with demand.

On the issue of resources, the question of whether the general practitioners will be responsible for managing the financial resources of the proposed GP surgeries is also important. It will be interesting to see how the management teams will be established and organised. There hasn’t been much mentioned in regards to the employment of business management professionals. While patient care is the main priority it is also important to ensure that healthcare is provided in a cost effective manner so as to minimise waste and maintain effective management of healthcare facilities to minimise the impact on taxpayers.

Current Environment
The government has proposed opening GP surgeries on evenings and weekends. If this initiative is implemented the new primary care model will have to cope with the demands of providing an extended service.

Moreover, there has already been significant negative feedback in regards to the new model. Many hospitals are not situated in central locations and patients are therefore concerned about how they will access the new surgeries. One of the benefits of current surgeries is the fact that they are situated in locations that are easily accessible to local residents.

It’s clear that major reforms are required in General Practice. The solution opposed by NHS Health is an innovative approach that may have a positive impact on healthcare as it will be delivered in a more integrated consistent manner. However, this new initiative will face a number of challenges during its implementation due to the climate it will be executed in; plagued by GP shortages, surgery closures and inadequate funding.