Social services and NHS must plan pandemic flu response together

Government flu expert Professor Lindsey Davies has urged social services directors to improve plans for outbreaks of pandemic flu.

Professor Davies said that children’s and adult’s services must work together with the NHS to ensure the “best possible use of resources” in the face of pandemic flu.

Roy Taylor, civil contingencies lead for both children’s and adult’s associations of directors of social services, said councils should review their flu pandemic plans.

“More joining up need to be done so that councils and directors of adults and of children’s services in England can more easily plan and respond together,” he added.

Pandemic flu is considered to be the greatest current threat to UK national security, ahead of terrorism. Up to 750,000 people could die over a 15-week period, according to official estimates.

Davies predicted social care would play a “key part” in tackling a flu outbreak, as NHS restrictions on access to in-patient care would mean more people needed support in the community.

The warning comes ahead of the publication this week of new government advice and guidance to authorities on coping with a pandemic.

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