Find Your ‘Flu Friends’ Now
NHS urges residents to build network of people who can help if they fall ill
A local NHS is urging people to build their own network of ‘flu friends’, who can help if they fall ill with swine flu.
Dr Mike Robinson, Director of Public Health at NHS Hounslow said, “For the vast majority of people, swine flu has been mild. Some people find that they get better by staying in bed, drinking plenty of water and taking over the counter flu medication. It is best to stay at home to recover and so you do not spread your germs to others. That’s where a flu friend comes in – someone who will shop for food and other supplies and be responsible for picking up medicines including antivirals if necessary.”
“It’s important everyone identifies a network of flu friends which can be made up of relatives, neighbours, colleagues or friends. It’s a good idea to set up more than one person in case your first flu friend is also unwell or unavailable.”
The National Pandemic Flu Service (NPFS) is a new dedicated website www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu and 0800 1 513 513 for information or 0800 1 513 100 for treatment (for people with hearing or speech impairments there is a text phone 0800 1 513 200) for people to check their symptoms and get a unique number which will give them access to antivirals if necessary.
People who have swine flu symptoms will be given a unique access number and told where their nearest antiviral collection point is. They should then ask a flu friend - a friend or relative who doesn't have swine flu — to go and pick up their antivirals.
The flu friend must show their own ID as well as that of the patient. The authorisation number and ID information will be checked to ensure it matches the information provided when the assessment of symptoms was completed.
Anyone who suspects they have swine flu must not go to their GP or A&E.
People should contact their doctor direct rather than using the NPFS if:
July 28, 2009