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Swine Flu

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the Statement of 12 June 2009, Official Report, columns 1052-63, on swine flu update, with which companies his Department holds advance purchase agreements for pandemic-specific vaccines; how much he expects to be spent on these vaccines; and from which budget funds for such expenditure will be drawn in the next 12 months. (283880)

The advance purchase agreements are with Glaxo Smith Kline and Baxter. The costs of the advance purchase agreements are £155.4 million over four years. Vaccine costs are commercial in confidence. Expenditure on dealing with swine flu will be met from within existing departmental budgets.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many swine flu information leaflets have been (a) printed and (b) distributed; and how much his Department has spent on their printing and distribution to date. (283924)

The Department has:

produced around 31.6 million swine flu information leaflets, including foreign language translations and alternative formats for disabled people; and

distributed over 29,136,529 leaflets.

The Department has spent £4,470,406 to date on production and distribution.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what dates his Department's National Director for Flu Resilience has met representatives of (a) primary care trusts and (b) strategic health authorities to discuss swine flu preparedness in the last three months; and if he will place a copy of the minutes of each such meeting in the Library. (283932)

The National Director NHS Flu Resilience has been in post since 5 May 2009.

The National Director NHS Flu Resilience has engaged with each NHS Chief Executive through the National NHS Chief Executive's Conference on the 20 May. There are no minutes of the conference.

In addition, he has personally briefed each of the 10 strategic health authority chief executives at meetings of the NHS management boards on 13 May and 11 June. A summary of the meeting is usually produced within three months of the meeting taking place, but is not yet available. A copy of the summary will be placed in the Library once it is finalised.

On 4 June, the National Director met with all 10 strategic health authority flu lead directors; there are no formal minutes of the meeting.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital patient specimens have been submitted to Health Protection Agency regional laboratories in order to be tested for swine flu to date. (283936)

The Health Protection Agency’s regional laboratory network has tested 23,395 samples up to the end of 30 June 2009. 83 of the samples that tested positive for swine flu came from hospitalised patients.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have accessed NHS Direct's online swine flu symptom checker to date; and how much was spent developing this service. (283937)

The number of people who have accessed NHS Direct’s on-line cold and flu symptom checker (which has included swine flu since 27 April 2009) is 707,583 (as of 30 June 2009).

The symptom checker service is integrated into NHS Direct’s contact centre operations and is used for a wider range of topics than just colds and flu. The approximate cost of developing the whole suite of tools (not just specifically the colds and flu element) was £367,000.