Getting behind the Curve? Is the NHS ready for pandemic flu?

Dr Hilary Pickles & David Rowland | January 3, 2014 | Reports


This report finds that reforms made to the NHS following the Health and Social Care Act of 2012 have impacted upon its ability to deal effectively with a possible flu pandemic.

It highlights three potential problems which the new NHS now faces in dealing with a possible pandemic:

  1. a loss of expertise, personal relationships and institutional memory in dealing with public health emergencies from within the NHS as a result of the 2012 reforms;
  2. the lack of clear accountability arrangements and a ‘clear line of sight’ under the new system; and
  3. the co-ordination of increasing numbers of private providers of NHS services in a health care system underpinned by contracts.

Getting behind the curve? Is the NHS ready for pandemic flu?

About the authors

Dr Hilary Pickles

Dr Hilary Pickles is an independent public health consultant, previously district Director of Public Health in Hillingdon, for the Health Authority 1996-2002 and then for the PCT from August 2003 until the end of April 2008. She has extensive experience in the Department of Health. See all posts by Dr Hilary Pickles

David Rowland

David Rowland is a health and social care policy researcher and author of ‘Mapping Communicable Disease Control Administration in the UK - between Devolution and Europe’ for the Nuffield Trust.See all posts by David Rowland