I am pleased to announce that an independently chaired review of the UK response to the 2009 HlNl (“swine flu”) pandemic has been established. This review has been jointly commissioned, and the chair appointed, by all four of the UK Health Ministers. The review will be chaired by Dame Deirdre Hine. The review team are situated within the Cabinet Office, which will lead the review with the full co-operation of all the UK Health Departments.
As part of the normal procedure following a major emergency event, the review will consider the effectiveness of the UK response to the 2009 pandemic and make recommendations to inform planning for any future pandemic. We expect the review team to conduct a paper review of all the key elements of the response and to interview key individuals involved. However, it will be for Dame Deirdre to determine precisely how she wishes to proceed.
The chair will start work as soon as possible. In order that the review can inform future pandemic planning and to ensure that its findings are placed in the public domain as soon as possible, Ministers have asked that the review complete its work in time to publish a report before the summer parliamentary recess (in any of the four nations of the UK).
I would like to take this opportunity to express the Government's thanks to all of those who have assisted and advised on the response to the swine flu pandemic.