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NHS managers urge suspension of targets as swine flu calls rocket

By Nigel Praities

NHS managers have put more pressure on the Government to look at suspending NHS targets - such as the Quality and Outcomes Framework - after figures show calls to GPs about the swine flu outbreak have risen by 50%.

The call came in a briefing document from the NHS Confederation that said the H1N1 virus was ‘spreading quickly' and all NHS organisations should focus on ensuring they had sufficient resources over the next few weeks.

‘We look forward to hearing more from the Department of Health about a possible suspension of targets during a more severe outbreak,' said the document.

Figures from the RCGP show reported cases of swine flu to GPs have risen to 40,000 a week, a rise of 46% on the week before.

The NHS Confederation advised PCTs should test their flu plans over the next few weeks and make sure they have supply and collection points for the flu vaccine.

It also warned that up to a quarter of staff could be absent at some stage during an epidemic, and urged managers to ensure staff who have left the organisation or retired were on standby.

‘We will be dealing with a situation that few working in the health service have ever experienced.'

'Now is the time to ensure that local NHS plans are in place and well tested. When the expected accelerated outbreak strikes in the autumn, all eyes will be on the NHS to see how it copes,' the document warns.

NHS managers are calling for the Government to consider suspending targets NHS managers are calling for the Government to consider suspending targets Pandemic flu: ensuring the NHS is ready Read the full report

To read the full report, click here: link

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