This site is intended for health professionals only

Wales “must join flu help line” after rise in cases

23 July 2009

Share this article

The Welsh Assembly Government is facing calls to join up to the National Pandemic Flu service after a surge in the number of cases.

It is time for health minister Edwina Hart (pictured) to reconsider her decision not to join the service, Conservative Shadow Health Minister Andrew RT Davies said.

He spoke after it emerged that more than 2,300 people have contacted their GP suffering from symptoms of the virus – a quadrupling of estimated cases in a week.

A telephone and internet service is being launched, which will allow people in England to be diagnosed with swine flu and get Tamiflu more easily.

But the Assembly Government said it, along with the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland, will not be involved as the virus has not spread as widely in Wales.

Wales can join the National Pandemic Flu Service (NPFS) later if necessary but in the meantime anyone worried about flu-like symptoms has been told to contact their GP or NHS Direct.

Mr Davies said the country should opt in before health services are “stretched to breaking point.”

But Ms Hart reiterated the Assembly Government’s position, saying Wales is “well behind the curve” in terms of the numbers of cases.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

NHS Direct Wales – Swine Flu