Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Lansley attacks Labour's "dithering" over swine flu

Andrew Lansley has warned that Labour’s “dithering” over the preparations for swine flu has left the NHS unable to respond effectively to the outbreak.

The Shadow Health Secretary said, “According to the Government’s own planning document, a full National Flu Line should have been up and running over a month ago, and managing the distribution of drugs and information in a coordinated way across the country.”

“Now, as vital weeks have passed and the number of cases has surged, it is clear that the Government’s dithering has damaged the ability of the NHS to respond coherently to the outbreak.”

Andrew stressed there was still “far too much confusion” amongst the public about what to do when people experience flu symptoms.

And he attacked the Government for not taking measures to deal with the expected increase in demand for intensive care beds as the virus spreads:

“The Government now project that up to 1500 extra people a day will need hospital care by the end of August. I can see no evidence that they’ve created the extra bed capacity or trained the extra staff that will be necessary to cope with this sort of demand. This sort of dithering is unacceptable, and does not inspire confidence that Andy Burnham is in control of the situation.”

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