This document outlines the Health Protection Framework for responding to an influenza pandemic in Scotland, and replaces all previous versions.
It sets out the actions that will be taken by HPS and the Health Protection Teams in each of the NHS Boards at each WHO designated pandemic influenza alert Phase and each UK Alert Level (within WHO Phase 6) and is intended for use by all Health Protection staff across Scotland.
It reflects the many lessons learned from the international debate and international, national and local exercises undertaken to test pandemic preparedness over the last year.
It indicates what is expected of NHS Boards’ health protection services as part of that response. It is however important to make clear that it does not outline the non-health protection multifaceted approach to be taken by NHS Boards and their partners in local authority and other agencies across Strategic Coordinating Groups (SCG’s) to manage the societal problem that pandemic influenza would represent. It is expected that the individual SCG’s will address this with their NHS partners as part of the integrated response to manage pandemic flu in Scotland.
The Scottish Executive Health Department (SEHD) remain responsible for the strategic co-ordination and overall direction of the health response in Scotland. NHS Boards’ Public Health Departments (usually through Health Protection Teams), on behalf of their local population, will be responsible for the tactical and operational response to an influenza pandemic. In line with its overall remit and under the direction of SEHD, HPS will have responsibility for ensuring a consistent health protection response throughout the country and monitoring the overall epidemiological situation and the impact of control measures on it. In doing so it will collaborate closely with its UK partner health protection organisations.
This response framework is closely aligned with the Health Protection Agency’s Influenza Pandemic Contingency Plan.This reflects a deliberate approach to coordinate health protection activity across the UK since the bulk of Health Protection guidance and scientific work during a pandemic will be undertaken by HPA with input from HPS and the devolved administration health protection teams.