The establishment of this new role follows the recent swine flu outbreak. Mr Dalton will be responsible for ensuring that all NHS organisations in England build on the robust planning that is already in place to deal with a flu pandemic.
Health secretary Alan Johnson said: ‘The appointment of Ian Dalton will support the vital operational side of our plans by ensuring every NHS organisation in England is in the best possible position to protect the population.’
Mr Dalton said: ‘Preparing for and dealing with the threat of pandemic flu is extremely important. The NHS is well placed to deal with such an eventuality and I am looking forward to working with colleagues throughout England to ensure the NHS continues to respond appropriately to any developing situation.’
Mr Dalton will take up the position with immediate effect, reporting to NHS chief executive David Nicholson.
Four more patients in England have been confirmed to have swine flu, taking the total number of cases in the UK to 32, the Health Protection Agency has announced.
The four patients, who had all travelled to Mexico, are adults from the Midlands, north-west and east of England.
Tamiflu is currently being offered to anyone who had close contact with the four patients.
A further 390 people in the UK are still under investigation for A(H1N1) influenza.
Elsewhere, a woman from Texas has become the first person to die from swine flu in the US.
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