National Pandemic Flu Service set to go live
23rd July 2009
The National Pandemic Flu Service in England is set to go live later today (July 23rd), providing further support to the NHS.
Additional diagnostic and distribution services will improve access to antiviral drugs in anticipation of growing numbers of swine flu cases.
Local centres dedicated to dealing with swine flu are being set up around the UK, intended to ease pressure on GPs so they can deal with other illnesses.
Health secretary Andy Burnham explained that health workers 'need to be able to give antivirals to greater numbers of people quickly' as cases increase.
He said: 'Cases of swine flu in the UK have so far proved to be generally mild in most people, but have been severe in a small minority of cases.
'I want the public to be reassured that we have been preparing for the possibility of a pandemic for a number of years and all that pre-planning is now paying dividends.'
Everyone diagnosed as suffering from swine flu will be offered the antivirals if they need them, according to the Department of Health.