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  1. ITV Report

Nurse to be honoured for her role in tackling Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone

A nurse who is to be honoured with OBE for running an Ebola treatment unit has described the military operation in Sierra Leone as "scary".

Lieutenant Colonel Alison McCourt was prasied for her 'professionalism and compassion' Credit: PA Wire

Lieutenant Colonel Alison McCourt, based in Aldershot, has been recognised for her contribution to the fight against the deadly disease in the latest Operational Honours list.

Lt Col McCourt was deployed to the Kerry Town Treatment Unit in Sierra Leone at the beginning of the Ebola crisis last October, where as Commanding Officer she oversaw the clinic for eight months.

The citation for her award commended her work preparing the unit for opening and training clinical staff, stating: "She has been in the vanguard of every development task. Her presence and personal touch have been everywhere.

"No problem has been too small to overlook, no person too insignificant to receive her full attention and the patients admitted have been received with utter professionalism and compassion instilled in the unit by McCourt.

"Her contribution to the Ebola war has been of the highest order and she thoroughly deserves public recognition."

Lt Col McCourt said the award recognised the efforts of her whole team. She said: "It's a huge honour to be publicly recognised in this way. It's an honour not just for me but for my entire unit.

Lt Col Alison McCourt meets Armed Forces minister Mark Francois before leaving for Sierra Leone Credit: PA wire

"The method of recognition is that not everybody can get this sort of award, but I think it's any individual who gets it, actually it's the because of the team behind them."

Lt Col McCourt described the Ebola operation, for which she was given just six weeks' notice, as "physically and psychologically demanding, but also professionally rewarding".

She added: "It was a scary operation, particular at the very beginning, and not without considerable risk but incredibly rewarding. The people of Sierra Leone were so welcoming to us and so receptive and I really feel that we've contributed to setting that country on the road to recovery."