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Pandemic influenza is top of the UK national risk register

A pandemic could start in any part of the world at any time of the year. It is likely to reach the UK very quickly and spread rapidly once in the country. Because a pandemic flu virus is a new virus, everyone will be susceptible, therefore we can expect high numbers of cases and consequently an impact on the NHS at all levels.

More people could require critical care than in a normal winter influenza epidemic. The NHS needs to be prepared to care for patients with pandemic influenza at primary care, ED level and in specialised care, as well as maintaining routine essential services.

Details of the planning assumptions are available in the UK National Strategy . NHS organisations in London have an identified Pandemic Influenza Lead as the focal point for local planning. There is also significant work with partners at local and London level to ensure a whole of society response to a future pandemic (London Resilience Partnership Pandemic Influenza Framework ).