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Managing pandemic influenza in general practice

Part A - Introduction

About the pandemic flu kit

Last revised: 16 Dec 2019

Parts B, C and D of this guide provide an overview of the key areas of PPRR. These key areas are consistent with Australia’s overall strategic approach to emergency management.

In general practice, prevention and preparedness activities should form part of everyday practice. The more prepared a practice is, the more effective their overall response and recovery effort will be. While it is widely recognised that general practice services are extremely busy, it is strongly recommended that practices take time to undertake rigorous preparedness activities.

It is recommended that practices develop a plan that is reviewed annually. It is suggested that this is done every February, so that practices are also prepared for the regular flu season.

General practices will implement their response strategies just prior to and during a pandemic. The level of response required will be dependent on the current pandemic stage as determined by the Australian Government. The response chapter of this guide provides advice regarding the key response activities that practices should undertake during a pandemic. The Implementation guide provides direction regarding the specific tasks to undertake during the relevant stages of the pandemic (as outlined in the AHMPPI).

During the recovery phase, practices should assess the impacts of the pandemic and reflect on what was managed well or poorly during their response efforts. Practices can then incorporate all learnings into future pandemic planning (preparedness stage). As described earlier, preparedness activities are crucial and help ensure the effectiveness of a practice’s response efforts.

Figure 4 shows how preparedness is central to all other pandemic activities. In the context of pandemic influenza, preparedness is the capability to ‘prevent, protect against, respond quickly to, and recover from health emergencies, particularly those whose scale, timing, or unpredictability threatens to overwhelm routine capabilities’.21

The Pandemic flu kit (PFK) is a set of documents designed to help general practices prepare for and manage an outbreak of pandemic influenza. The PFK comprises three modules: Managing pandemic influenza in general practice: A guide for preparation, response and recovery; the Implementation guide; and the Pandemic influenza toolkit.

The guide (this document) contains current evidence-based information about pandemic influenza and includes comprehensive information regarding PPRR principles and activities. Figure 3 shows this cycle.

This is a shorter document in flipchart format that contains clear tangible actions specifically aligned with pandemic stages (including colour coding) as outlined within the AHMPPI. 

The Pandemic influenza toolkit is a collection of operational documents developed to support general practices in their preparedness and response efforts. The toolkit comprises pandemic planning templates, checklists, triage algorithms, scripts and downloadable posters.

By completing the planning templates and using the additional resources, practices will have developed a pandemic plan that is individually tailored to their practice.

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