PCT swine flu plans 'not good enough'

PCT preparations for a swine flu pandemic 'have not been as thorough or robust as we and the public would want', according to pharmacists.

Yesterday there were 112 confirmed cases and three patients under investigation in England. There were 10 confirmed cases in Scotland, three probable and three possible cases.

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee chief executive Sue Sharpe said: ‘If there was ever an issue that demanded strong management from the centre of the NHS and clear co-ordination, it is the response to a flu pandemic.

‘Many PCTs have worked hard in their preparations but in recent weeks it has become apparent that these have not been as thorough or robust as we and the public would want. So long as the current H1N1 outbreak remains below level 6, we have the opportunity to learn the lessons.

‘We don’t need local services to be managed from the centre but we do need clear direction for PCTs over key services such as the first prescription service and the minor ailments service.

‘We want to see those available in every part of the country – not just in some. By designating them as advanced services or directed enhanced services, this can be achieved.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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