It will aid the development of robust and flexible operational plans by local organisations and emergency planners within the NHS and local government. It provides the public and healthcare professionals with an overview of the coordination and the preparation for the flu season and signposting to further guidance and information.
This year the flu plan also includes details about the extension of the flu vaccination programme to children in 2014 and 2015. Due to the scale of the extension nationally it is being implemented gradually, with geographical piloting in the early years that will provide learning to inform subsequent roll-out.
The Flu plan is supported by:
the annual Flu Letter issued alongside the Flu plan
the influenza chapter in Immunisation against infectious disease (the Green Book, chapter 19) which is updated regularly, sometimes during a flu season
two service specifications between NHS England and the Secretary of State for Health for the ‘routine’ seasonal flu programme (No.13) and for the extension of the programme to children (No. 13A)