Research nurses are asking nursing staff for their views on the ebola outbreak in West Africa, as part of efforts to gauge healthcare workers’ attitudes to volunteering in the current crisis.
A survey is being sent to nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers to help “understand their thoughts” about helping with the ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The results will help to identify and, therefore, address any modifiable barriers there might be, according to the researchers.
Specialist research nurse Claire Matata said: “We are interested in the views of all healthcare professionals whether you have considered volunteering or not.”
The anonymous survey consists of 15 questions and will take around five minutes to complete, according to Ms Matata.
It is being conducted by the National Institute for Health Research’s Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging Infections and Zoonoses.
The unit is a collaboration between the University of Liverpool, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Public Health England.
Chief medical officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, wrote to NHS employees in September encouraging them to volunteer to help tackle the outbreak, with at least 160 staff thought to have answered the call.
As revealed earlier this week by Nursing Times, NHS nurses that volunteer to help tackle ebola in West Africa will receive pay for up to two months while they are away, triple the usual period they would be eligible, due to the “exceptional” nature of the outbreak.
NHS workers deployed to previous international emergencies have been funded through a government package that would normally release them from their posts for two to three weeks.
But due to the scale of the current ebola outbreak – which has so far killed nearly 5,000 people out of nearly 9,000 cases – the government has agreed to provide funding to trusts that will ensure nurses and other healthcare workers can volunteer for up to eight weeks.
The charity International Medical Corps recently told Nursing Times that UK nurses were urgently needed to support efforts to tackle ebola due to a shortage of volunteers and local staff.
It said hundreds of international nursing staff were required immediately, with thousands more needed over the coming months.