You may have seen reports from over the summer about a huge flu epidemic which caused serious problems in Australia. Almost 100,000 people fell ill and the health system there was put under serious strain.
Our own NHS has struggled over winter in the last few years. It’s not long since the Royal Bolton Hospital had to turn people away using powers usually only reserved for demand caused by major accidents. Just this week we've seen reports that the hospital is full to capacity.
The potential combination of these two things is concerning. I want assurances that plans are in place to support our NHS just in case we see something similar to the Australia crisis happening here this flu season.
I submitted two questions to the Health Secretary about this. I wanted to know about vaccinations, and about the NHS emergency planning. You can see the responses in full below, but they don’t fill me with confidence.
Let me know what you think, and if you’re in an at risk group then please make sure you get your flu jab.