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NHS staff asked to help Ebola fight

NHS staff are being encouraged to volunteer to help with the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.

The Department of Health's chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies has written to health service staff to point them towards the UK International Emergency Medical Register.

Doctors, nurses and paramedics are among the medical staff who will be needed to help contribute towards efforts to tackle the crisis, she said.

British officials recently announced they were setting up a treatment centre in Kerrytown, Sierra Leone.

The Government is working with the charity Save The Children to determine how the 62 bed facility will be run once it has been fully set up, she said.

"The UK has been at the forefront of responding to the epidemic," Dame Sally wrote.

"It is acknowledged that the key to combating this epidemic is supporting in-country front line health workers and underpinning a fractured health system in Sierra Leone.

"The UK's aim is to provide the very best life-saving health service under the most challenging conditions."

The letter, which is also signed by NHS England's medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, the organisation's chief nursing officer Jane Cummings and Public Health England's medical director Professor Paul Cosford, also urges staff to check their organisation's leave policy and states that initial help is required from those with past experience but as the situation develops those with more generic skills will be welcomed.

The West Africa outbreak has so far taken the lives of more than 2,600 people and infected around twice as many.

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