Kirklees health chiefs plan for autumn Swine Flu outbreak
Jul 30 2009 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
MORE than 2,500 Kirklees residents have now been treated with anti-virals such as Tamiflu following the Swine Flu pandemic.
But Dr Judith Hooper, NHS Kirklees Director of Public Health, said only a small proportion of those being treated, fewer than one in 10 nationwide, actually had the virus.
Dr Hooper said this was because government policy dictated every member of a household had to be given the drugs.
In Kirklees 75 people have been admitted to hospital but only 14 of those were confirmed as having contracted the virus.
Dr Hooper said: “We expect the number of cases of Swine Flu to rise at the beginning of September when the schools go back.
“We’re having a bit of a lull now but it’s clear there will be increasing pressure on the NHS.”
Health chiefs are now starting to worry about the financial implications of the pandemic on their budgets amid planning for an immunisation programme in the autumn.
Lists of essential and non-essential services are now being drafted and prioritised as to “what gets turned off”.
Finance director Bryan Machin told the NHS Kirklees board meeting yesterday that it would be a significant challenge for the trust to hit their financial targets this year.
He also said any contract that was not signed should be questioned and some commitments may have to be “uncommitted”.
The meeting also heard that procedures for vaccinating the public were not yet clear.