Lincs: Organisations are getting prepared for the flu season

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With winter approaching organisations are checking how they would work together in the event of a flu pandemic.

Lincs County Council, Public Health England, the NHS and the emergency services are among those involved.

Taking place at the headquarters of Lincs Fire and Rescue at South Park in Lincoln, agencies will be assessed on how they share information and work together to keep local residents informed.

They will also face challenging scenarios which will test how the agencies deliver their services. This will include operating with reduced staffing levels, increased demands on healthcare services and handling media speculation.

David Powell, head of emergency planning at Lincs County Council, said: “If there was a serious outbreak of flu, the demands on the health service would be extremely high. It is therefore important that we test how we would warn and inform people.

“We would do this through a multi-agency approach, sharing information with our partners and local residents as and when a situation develops.

“This would include explaining the severity of the virus, the possible symptoms and how people can look after themselves and their families.

“We would also need to tell people what to do if they think they have the virus and advise on the availability of vaccines and anti-viral medicines.

“With effective communication we could take some of the pressure off hospitals and GPs and encourage people to only seek help if they need it.

“The second part of the exercise is to test our business continuity plans so how we would continue to deliver services that residents depend on such as care services, even if they are short-staffed because of the virus.”