Quality framework to be suspended in flu pandemic

The quality framework will be suspended in the event of a flu pandemic to allow GPs to focus on providing urgent care, guidance out today suggests.

Photograph: iStockphoto/Stephen Uber
Photograph: iStockphoto/Stephen Uber

The guidance, produced jointly by the RCGP and the BMA, is intended as a practical guide for GPs and practice mangers and will be distributed to every GP in the UK.

In the event of a pandemic, every practice will have to follow command and control arrangements which will be monitored and co-ordained by primary care organisations.

At a given signal from the local NHS body, practices will be told to stop doing work relating to the quality framework which is not essential to the current clinical demand.

GP surgeries will work together to share resources and exchange staff as necessary.

The guidance states that practices should ensure these contingency plans are in place by 31 March 2009.

Speaking at the launch of the guidance in central London today, GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘If GPs are well prepared then we can face what will be a significant challenge.

‘This document will prepare GPs for what will be a very difficult time.’


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