Managing pandemics in general practice

Developing a pandemic plan

Last revised: 08 Jul 2024

A comprehensive and useful pandemic plan should:

  • clearly identify the pandemic leader and pandemic coordinator and outline the responsibilities for these roles and other practice team members (the pandemic leader and pandemic coordinator roles may be undertaken by the same person or the responsibilities of a role may be shared among a group, for example between practice owner and manager)
  • list essential pandemic resources (human and material), including practice team member capacity and roles, key stakeholders, such as Primary Health Networks (PHNs), Public Health Units (PHUs), hospitals and local diagnostic services; staffing capacity, as well as tangibles such as personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • describe effective communication strategies using existing health networks and available infrastructure
  • document infection prevention and control policies for the practice
  • identify potential triage algorithms for the management of suspected and known cases (noting that practices will need to establish specific processes based on public health guidance specific to the infectious agent as this guidance emerges)
  • identify contingency arrangements for business continuity, including planning for absenteeism and the use of alternative work processes (eg the use telehealth, altered workflows, work from home arrangements)
  • identify contingency arrangements for patients with particular needs (eg patients at greater risk of contracting, or having severe complications from, an infectious disease)
  • outline the supports the practice will provide for people in home isolation and/or quarantine
  • outline the supports that will be available to practice team members.

The plan does not need to fit a specific template and some information may be duplicable from other practice documentation. If information relevant to your pandemic plan is already documented elsewhere, simply record in your plan where the information can be accessed. Guidance on possible arrangements is outlined in the checklist and templates provided later in this resource.

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