Swine flu 'pressure rating' to identify hot spots as cases soar

The DoH has announced it is developing a 'pressure rating' mechanism to identify primary care organisations (PCOs) under extreme pressure from swine flu, as estimated new cases pass 1,000 a day.

Photograph: SPL
Photograph: SPL

England's chief medical officer Sir Liam Donaldson announced that the pressure rating would examine the effect of swine flu on primary and secondary care services, PCT by PCT.

The announcement comes after the GPC confirmed that suspension of QOF would be triggered on a PCT by PCT basis.

Further details on how the rating system would work have yet to be determined, however. No such scheme currently exists and so the NHS would be starting from scratch, Sir Liam said.

GP consultations for influenza-like illness (ILI) have reached 51.9 per 100,000 per week, equivalent to around 27,000 across the UK, Sir Liam said.

Around 28% of sampled cases of ILI have so far been confirmed as swine flu cases, suggesting that over 7,500 people are contracting swine flu every week.

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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