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Monday 18th June 2018

GPs lack guidance on pandemic flu

24th January 2008

A survey of doctors has revealed that half of GPs are concerned that the Department of Health has failed to give them enough information about what to do in the event of an influenza pandemic.


The research carried out among 310 GPs showed that 49.4% felt their practice had not been given enough detail to help prepare for a pandemic and only 25% felt their practice could cope with extra patient demands in the event of a major pandemic.

It also emerged that 80% of GPs believed they did not have access to antiviral drugs and some were unsure as to who antivirals should be given to.

The Department of Health tsar for pandemic influenza preparedness told GP, which carried out the survey, that she would like to see more GPs prepared for a pandemic.

Professor Lindsey Davies added: “Planning for a pandemic is actually one of the NHS’s top priorities for this year. We released the pandemic framework in November last year and have sent out information packs and posters to all GPs, but recognise that there is still much more work to be done.��?

Flu levels have recently risen above the antiviral threshold of 30 cases per 100,000 in England and 50 cases per 100,000 in Scotland with GPs now being advised to prescribe the antiviral oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

Berkshire GP Dr George Kassianos, who is the RCGP immunisation spokesman, said it may be the case the GPs have access to antivirals but are unaware of it because they have not been properly informed.


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