Swine Flu weekly report
Please note that until further notice, these briefings will be issued on a fortnightly basis.
This week’s report from NHS West Midlands shows that the rate of new cases of swine flu continues to slow across the region. Information provided indicates current impact on the local services.
Patients presenting at primary care centres with influenza-like symptoms has decreased within the health economy over the last week. The number of people with swine flu admitted to hospitals in West Midlands has increased this week.
Activity /Rates – GPs
This shows the number of patients attending primary care with influenza-like illness, taken from the latest Health Protection Agency QSurveillance data. This data indicates a decrease for the week ending 6 September 2009, across England, West Midlands and within Birmingham East and North.
The reported rate of GP consultations per 100,000 population within the West Midlands for the week was 11.4 (compared with 14 for the previous week).
West Midlands average 11.4 (per 100,000)
England and Wales rates 10.6 (per 100,000)
NHS Birmingham East and North 10.3 (per 100,000)
Number of Hospital Admissions
The total number of new admissions with swine flu admitted to hospitals in the West Midlands for the period 3 September to 9 September 2009 is 41. As of 9 September, there were 20 people in hospital.
Number of Swine Flu Related Deaths
There have been no swine flu-related deaths reported for the week 3 September to 9 September 2009 within the West Midlands. The total number of deaths for the region remains at nine.
Update on Anti-Viral Collection Points (ACPs)
Total number of Antiviral Collection Points planned for the Local Health Economy: 10
Currently open: 1 (Stechford)
The PCT currently has one ACP open which is in line with the current level of need. Plans are in place to open more collection points to meet any increase in demand.
Total number of assessments via the National Flu Pandemic Service (West Midlands): 109,431
Total number of antivirals collected (West Midlands): 51,678
Public Health Message
A new National Pandemic Flu Service has been launched to ensure that people with flu or flu-like symptoms are able to get advice and help. The new service is made up of a dedicated website and call centres which provide people with a quick way to check their symptoms and get access to antiviral drugs. For most people, swine flu is not a serious illness and they should start to feel better after a few days without needing to go to their GP or A&E.
National announcements this week
Following a review of NHS critical care capacity, and plans to increase this capacity if necessary during a pandemic, a critical care strategy has been published today. The document sets out how the NHS will double ventilated critical care capacity during the peak of a potential second wave of the swine flu pandemic. It outlines a series of whole system measures that can be put in place, including measures to minimise demand for critical care.
To support the NHS with this work, a new Swine Flu Critical Care Clinical Group made up of a number of independent experts in delivering critical care has been formed. This group will provide a dedicated, expert resource for the NHS for the duration of the swine flu pandemic. Every NHS region, including NHS West Midlands, has confirmed that it can double available critical care capacity should it need to.
Mental Health Act Consultation
To further strengthen our resilience, the Department of Health has today published a consultation on possible temporary changes to the Mental Health Act, 1983. During the peak of a pandemic, when the workforce is likely to be under considerable pressure, these changes would enable Strategic Health Authorities to provide continuity of service. For more information, visit: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/News/Recentstories/DH_104971.Comment by John Hemming
There has been a lot of hype about Swine Flu going up when the schools kick off, which they just have, but the PCT are going down to fortnightly. Something does not compute.