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Disease Control

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL3956, tabled on 5 May 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the plans developed by NHS England to improve pandemic response planning as a result of Exercise Cygnus.

Answered on

18 May 2020

NHS England is a key partner in the ongoing cross-Government work to develop the United Kingdom’s pandemic preparedness. This Department continues to work across Government and with key stakeholders, including NHS England, to develop coordinated multi-sector response plans for a future influenza pandemic.

The lessons from Exercise Cygnus, along with expert scientific, clinical and operational advice, have informed the UK’s preparedness to ensure that the country remains well prepared for infectious disease outbreaks. This includes work such as development of draft legislation support to the health system response to a future influenza pandemic and strengthening plans to surge and flex beyond normal operations, as demonstrated by the considerable increase in critical care capacity as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.