Swine flu line eases pressure on GPs

Pressure on GPs and out-of-hours services in England has been significantly cut by the introduction of the National Pandemic Flu Service, new data show.

RCGP and QSurveillance figures both show that daily GP consultation rates for influenza-like illness fell after the introduction of the service last week, England's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson said at a briefing on Thursday.

PCTs have also reported drops in the demand on their out-of-hours services, he said. The number of cases managed by PCTs in London almost halved after the introduction of the National Pandemic Flu Service.

Around 150,000 people have been given antiviral treatment through the service, Sir Liam added.

Those accessing the service were split equally between those using the internet and those using the phone service, he said.

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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