Swine flu: the official Department of Health news release

New service will relieve pressure on GPs and NHS


Log on to
www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu or call 0800 1 513 100 or 0800 1 513 200 (Textphone)

A new self-care service which will give people with pandemic swine flu symptoms fast access to antivirals was launched today by Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

The National Pandemic Flu Service is a new dedicated website (http://www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu) and phoneline (0800 1 513 100 or 0800 1 513 200 (Textphone)) for people to check their symptoms and get a unique number which will give them access to antivirals if necessary.

People who have swine flu symptoms will be given a unique access number and told where their nearest antiviral collection point is. They should then ask a flu friend - a friend or relative who doesn't have swine flu - to go and pick up their antivirals.

The flu friend must show their own ID as well as that of the patient. The authorisation number and ID information will be checked to ensure it matches the information provided when the assessment of symptoms was completed.

Anyone who suspects they have swine flu is advised not to go to their GP or A&E.

People should contact their doctor direct rather than using the National Pandemic Flu Service if:

they have a serious underlying illness;they are pregnant;they have a sick child under one year old;their condition suddenly gets much worse; orif their condition is still getting worse after 7 days (5 for a child).

Andy Burnham said:

"The National Pandemic Flu Service will give patients access to information and antivirals as quickly as possible. It will free up GPs so they can focus their efforts on helping those in at risk groups and patients with other illnesses.

"People can still speak to their GP if they are concerned. In fact - it is important to stress that people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, and parents with children under the age of one should speak to their GP if they have symptoms.

"For the vast majority of people, swine flu has been mild. Some people find that they get better by staying in bed, drinking plenty of water and taking over the counter flu medication."

Up to two thousand call operators will be trained for a minimum of three hours. Less experienced call operators will be trained for a day. Strict industry standard regulations are in place when employing staff. These include the right to work in the UK (therefore no illegal immigrants), satisfactory employment references and satisfactory character references.

Doctors from the Royal College of General Practitioners will have a special liaison role with each of these call centres and will feed back problems or concerns that arise during the operation of the service.

As swine flu spreads, it is important to be able to recognise its symptoms. People who have two of the following symptoms and a temperature of 380 C and above or feels hot may have swine flu.

The typical symptoms are:

* sudden fever (a high body temperature of 38C/100.4F or above)
* sudden cough.

Other symptoms may include:

* headache
* tiredness
* chills
* aching muscles
* limb or joint pain
* diarrhoea or stomach upset
* sore throat
* runny nose
* sneezing
* loss of appetite.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

    £25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

    £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

    £25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers