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Written Statement - Pandemic flu preparedness

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Edwina Hart, Minister for Health and Social Services

I would like to inform Assembly Members of the publication today of a cross-government consultation on the UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy.

The proposed strategy – agreed by all the Devolved Administrations – will update the previous National Framework, published in 2007, in the light of the experience from the 2009 H1N1 pandemic including the findings of the Independent Review chaired by the former Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dame Deirdre Hine, and also the latest scientific evidence.

It is vital that we remain prepared for any pandemic and given the uncertainty about the scale, severity and pattern of development of any future pandemic, three key principles underpin the strategy; these are to ensure that our response is precautionary, proportionate and flexible.

The Strategy will provide for a consistent UK-wide approach and will also allow for local flexibility and agility to take account of local patterns of spread of infection and the different healthcare systems in the four countries.

The document is available via the Related Links to the right.

The consultation runs until 17 June 2011, and following this, a finalised strategy will be published later this year.