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Is Britain Prepared for a Pandemic Flu Threat?

Author/s: Dr Miriam Armstrong

Publication Date: May 2013

Is Britain Prepared for a Pandemic Flu Threat?

The following is a short excerpt of "Is the UK Prepared for the Next Pandemic Flu Threat?". Please refer to the PDF download for the full article including references.

On April 1st 2013 new arrangements for the planning and delivery of English health policy and service provision came into force. The new arrangements apply across the breadth of the entire healthcare system, from the Department of Health and new Government Advisory Bodies, such as Public Health England, down to the frontline via hospitals, local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups.

To say there is plenty of trepidation about whether the new arrangements are fit for purpose and can deliver the Coalition Government’s aspirations for the NHS is a minor understatement! The seismic nature of the changes could easily be underestimated by those less familiar with the politics and workings of our much loved national institution, but is obviously not lost on those who have spent their working lives in service of its aims.

Not an April Fool’s ploy, as of that date some 160 NHS organisations, including all Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities (previously at the hub of service commissioning and delivery) were abolished and over 200 Clinical Commissioning Groups took over. Sadly, their closure was accompanied by the departure of many very senior personnel which begs the question of what will be lost from the health service during the transition period, and perhaps not replaced?