Flu hotline set to go live

The interim flu hotline will be launched today in England to help ease pressure on GPs.

The freephone number will be active during the day, but its capacity could be expanded if the pandemic worsens. Full details of its opening hours will be confirmed later today.

The flu line will be staffed by 1,500 call centre staff who will use a clinical algorithm developed by the BMA to diagnose swine flu and determine whether patients should be offered antivirals.

Pregnant women, patients with underlying health conditions and children under one will still be advised to visit their GP.

The phone number for the flu hotline and the address for the website are expected to be released at a briefing later today.


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