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MP challenges Cumbria health bosses: are we ready for swine flu?

July 14, 2009 12:00 AM

With reports estimating that there could be over 100,000 new cases of Swine flu diagnosed a day by the end of August, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has asked Cumbria PCT to reveal how they intend to deal with any significant outbreak of the disease.

Mr Farron has written to the Chief Executive of Cumbria PCT, Sue Page, and to Tony Halsall, the Chief Executive of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust to ask for their assessment of the local health services' ability to cope with a potentially large increase in the number of reported swine flu cases this summer.

It is feared that a significant outbreak would place additional burden on demand for hospital beds and staff resources. Mr Farron has also asked the PCT to unveil their plans to ensure people with certain health conditions are protected from contracting swine flu.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"Like everyone I'm concerned about the likely impact on Cumbria of a large outbreak of Swine flu this summer, with some reports suggesting that there will be 100,000 new cases a day by the end of August.

"Obviously we hope and expect that in most cases the symptoms will be mild. However, it is likely to have a significant impact on local health resources and on local people.

"A worst case scenario huge outbreak of swine flu will mean that the NHS will need to increase its staff resources for a period of time. It's therefore, crucial that Cumbria PCT put in place a plan to deal with any significant outbreak."