Policy paper

Health and social care response to flu pandemics

This publication was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

How health and social care organisations should plan for, and respond to, flu pandemics.



This document sets out how the health and social care sectors should respond operationally to flu pandemics. It incorporates the lessons identified from the H1N1 (2009) flu pandemic. It supports, and should be read alongside, the ‘UK influenza pandemic preparedness strategy 2011 and reflects the changes set out in the strategy:

  • develop improved plans for the initial response to a new pandemic
  • ensure a response that is proportionate to a range of scenarios
  • allow for differences in the rate and pattern of spread of the disease across the country and internationally
  • further explore statistical population-based surveillance, such as serology to measure the severity of a pandemic in its early stages
  • take better account of information from behavioural scientists about how people are likely to think, feel and behave during a flu pandemic
  • develop improved plans for managing the end of a flu pandemic – the recovery phase