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.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

    £18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

    Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

    £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

    £20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

    Day In a Page

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future