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UK DH consults on flu pandemic strategy

The UK's Department of Health (DH) has published the UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy and is seeking feedback as part of a public consultation

The UK's Department of Health (DH) has published the UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy. The strategy, which is an update to the 2007 National Framework, includes lessons learnt from the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic and relates to a UK-wide strategic approach to planning for and responding to the demands of an influenza pandemic. 

The strategy has been developed across the four UK nations with input from professional, NHS, social care and public health organisations. It was produced jointly by DH and the Cabinet Office and was based on advice from clinical, scientific and other experts.

Key proposals within the updated strategy include the need to:

Develop better plans for the initial response to a new influenza pandemic
Take greater account of differences in the rate and pattern of spread of the disease across the UK and internationally
Take better account of the learning from behavioural scientists about how people are likely to think, feel and behave during an influenza pandemic
Develop better plans for managing the end of an influenza pandemic – the recovery phase and preparation for subsequent seasonal influenza outbreaks.

DH is seeking feedback as part of a public consultation, which runs until June 17.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Whilst this country has been prepared for a flu pandemic for some years, there are always lessons to be learnt. We have and will continue to listen to expert national and international advice on how we can improve our response to ensure that we remain one of the best-prepared countries in the world.

"As a result of their experience in the swine flu pandemic, many other organisations and individuals also have extensive experience of the challenges that can be posed by a pandemic and will have given these challenges much thought. We want to ensure that this experience is fully reflected in the new pandemic flu strategy. Therefore, we are inviting comments and views on the strategy set out in this document." 

DH has also published the detailed scientific evidence underpinning the proposals.

22nd March 2011

From: Healthcare

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