— Ellie Broughton

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I’m delighted to write that I’ve been named of one MHP’s ’30 To Watch’ award this year.

Judges including Emily Ashton (senior political correspondent BuzzFeed), Tami Hoffman (interviews editor at Sky News) and Sophy Ridge (political correspondent at Sky News) remarked that the nominations were ‘particularly strong’.

I was particularly chuffed to be named in the same category as The Sunday Times’s ‘Wardrobe Mistress’ Pandora Sykes, Guardian arts journalist Hannah Ellis-Petersen, and campaign journalists Reni Eddop-Lodge and Paris Lees, as well as my former classmate at City University Marion Dakers.

Making up the rest of the MHP 30 to Watch 2015 were:

Niamh Anderson, The Sun on Sunday – Features Writer

Chris Berkin, Estates Gazette – Senior Reporter

Daniel Binns, Metro UK – Reporter

Neela Debnath, The Independent – Blogs Editor

George Eaton, New Statesman – Political Editor

Natalie Edwards, The Sun on Sunday – Biz on Sunday Co-Editor

Matthieu Favas, Infrastructure Investor – Reporter

Alex Hern, the Guardian – Technology Reporter

Martin Jeffries, Sky Digital – Social Media Producer

Miles Johnson, Financial Times – Hedge Fund Correspondent

Dave Lee, BBC News – Technology Journalist

Georgina Leggate, Good Morning Britain – Senior Planning Producer

Costas Pitas, Reuters – Correspondent

Alix Robertson, Funds Europe- Staff Writer

Harriet Russell, Investors Chronicle – Companies Writer

Radhika Sanghani, Daily Telegraph – Women’s Editor

Kadhim Shubber, Financial Times – Graduate Trainee

Jennifer Williams, Manchester Evening News – News Reporter

Robyn Wilson, Construction News – Property Correspondent

Victoria Woollaston, Daily Mail – UK Deputy Science Editor

To read more about my work and qualifications, click here for my bio.

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I was lucky enough to interview NHS volunteer Dr Gordon Gancz about a day in his life at the Ebola Treatment Centre in Port Loko, Sierra Leone. 

Click here to see the article as it appeared in Pulse magazine

07.00

I wake up in my own room and eat a bowl of cereal. I hope the milk hasn’t gone sour; the people who run the staff accommodation turn the generator off at night to save power and during the day the fridges warm right up – temperatures can reach 32°C here.

I’d never worked abroad before this, but I’ve stayed in army accommodation as a civilian adviser to the armed services. But unlike that experience, most of the time the shower here doesn’t work, and the laundry service brings your clothes back smelling worse than when you sent them.

08.00

I have a meeting with heads of department to plan the day, then make the three-mile trip through the bush to the Ebola treatment centre (ETC). It’s called a ‘treatment’ centre, but as there’s not yet a cure, all we can do is keep patients rehydrated (as per WHO guidelines). I am responsible for staff health so I travel in an ambulance fitted to treat both Ebola and non-Ebola illness, including traumas (there’s a high risk of road accidents here).

09.00

Arriving at the ETC, I begin the elaborate handwashing routine. It certainly lays to rest any anxiety I had about the infection control part of CQC inspections. We use some of the operating procedures we developed in York where we trained (casualty evacuation plans, for example), but others we adapted when we came over. I also take my temperature because I’ve established a practice where no staff member with a temperature over 38°C is allowed inside in case of ill health (such as malaria, Ebola, or a stomach upset).

But when you’re dressed up in an Ebola suit and two masks, goggles, a snood hood, a rubber apron, wellington boots and two pairs of gloves, you get incredibly hot. Just yesterday, a member of staff came out of the red zone (where Ebola patients stay) having been in for an hour instead of the recommended 35-40 minutes. He collapsed, so I had to resuscitate him – undress him, spray him down, get his legs in the air, try to restore his blood pressure and pump him full of rehydration salts in the hope he didn’t fit.

In the red zone, we use a buddy system to watch out for one another. We also write our names on our suits so patients and colleagues know who’s inside them.

We currently have 12 patients, but this will go up to 20, then 100 when we operate at full capacity.

14.00

Twenty new doctors arrive from Denmark, who will take over from us when our stint ends. I explain our systems, what their lives are going to be like and give them top-up training about protective equipment. Then they start shadowing us in the red zone.

15.00

As the lead for staff health, I have a very varied workload. For instance, yesterday I saw an impacted wisdom tooth, secondary syphilis, appendicitis and a patient who had jumped off a moving bus.  I also visit the government hospital to diagnose and prescribe for patients discharged from the ETC. Many survivors have other health problems after Ebola, such as the nine-year-old girl who is now being treated for bilateral pneumonia.

17.00

I visit the Command and Control centre with the police commander, a colonel and the local Royal Army Medical Corps leader. We collate key data, such as the number of people who’ve been picked up that day, the number of dead, the number of positive tests and the burial report.

19.00

After consultations with sick staff, I eat supper. I don’t miss English food that much but I can’t deny I was pleased to receive the coffee and Stilton that my son and daughter posted to me for Christmas.

20.00

A four-day lockdown has just begun to keep people off the roads while the army and police go door to door to find people with Ebola-like symptoms. They’re trying to stop the virus spreading – many are reluctant to seek treatment. A lot of people get infected after washing dead relatives before burial – whole families have been wiped out in this way.

00.00

I go to bed, but I’m on call and have had to deal with something every night so far – thankfully just over the phone.

 

If you’re interested in health features, you might also like to read about how NHS treatment will change by 2050.

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What is ALS?

An explainer I wrote about the ice bucket challenge and ALS received over 50,000 unique views in one day, and has been shared over 5,600 times on social media networks so far.

Although thousands of people in the UK have happily doused themselves in ice cold water this month, many have been left wondering what they were doing it for.

ice bucket
US supporters of the ice bucket challenge were doing it for ‘ALS’ – so what was this disease no-one in the UK had heard of?
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It’s been five years since Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall burst onto the scene. The re-telling of Thomas Cromwell’s rise and fall captured readers’ imaginations — and earned Mantel the Booker Prize in 2009. It was followed by a sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, which won the same prize in 2012.

But the work is still gaining momentum. Mantel revealed last month that she had begun writing the third book, The Mirror and the Light, and the RSC is about to launch its stage production of the first two books in London after a successful run in Stratford.

Many of the sites featured in the book still stand. Have you passed part of Tudor London today without knowing it?

Hugely popular, this article has had over 2.8k likes on Facebook to date.

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