It’s hard enough to get a GP appointment now – how difficult is it going to be when treatment needs to start as soon as possible after symptoms emerge to be effective?
Answer A flu pandemic is likely to create particular pressure across primary care, community health services, social care and the hospital sector. We are working with the RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) and others to look at ways of supplementing and augmenting the ability of general practice to deal with the extra demand in the most effective way. Our operational guidance for care in a community setting includes plans to use support staff who will follow a clinically based algorithm to conduct the initial telephone assessment and to either authorise antiviral supply or refer patients to their general medical practitioner (GP) as appropriate. This should reduce the burden on GPs.
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