(1 Post)
whomovedmychocolate Tue 07-Jul-09 17:58:04

I have been asked to post the following which can be read online at Please note this link contains all the relevant docs including the template 'flu friends form'.

Be prepared - now is the time to choose your 'Flu Friends'
2 July 2009
Swine flu may become a pandemic in the UK over the coming months, so now is the time to choose your ‘flu friend’. The national swine flu information leaflet that was delivered to households across the county in May makes reference to people setting up a network of ‘flu friends’.

A ‘flu friend’ can be relatives, neighbours or friends who will collect medicines, food and other supplies for you if you get swine flu, so that you do not have to leave home. Preventing people who may be suffering from swine flu from having to go outdoors will help restrict the potential spread of flu to others.

It is a good idea for each person to identify up to five ‘flu friends’ as if your flu friend is also ill or unavailable then they cannot help you, but having at least one is very important.

A ‘flu friend’ form is now available to help the public record their personal flu friend(s) information and to keep in a safe place in case they are ill. In addition you could consider becoming a ‘flu friend’ to a neighbour who may live alone, family members that might need help, or offer yourself as a ‘flu friend’ through networks that may be set up by local organisations, such as churches or parish councils.

Anna Hinton, Principal in Health Protection, from NHS Oxfordshire said:

"Now is the time to identify a network of flu friends. There is no way of telling who will catch the flu, so it is important to be aware and to plan ahead. If you are ill with swine flu it is important that you do not go out because you might spread the illness to others. Ask a flu friend to go out for you."

What to do now:

Identify your ‘flu friend(s)’ and check that they are happy to help you.
Complete the flu friend form now and keep it in a safe place e.g. on the fridge or by the phone.
Make sure you know where your ID (see list of options on the ‘flu friend’ form) is located in case your flu friend needs to collect medicines for you.
Think about neighbours who may live alone or family members that might need help and offer to be their ‘flu friend’

Further Information:

A Flu Friends Q&A is available to help answer questions you may have.
For the latest information on swine flu visit the NHS Choices or NHS Direct websites at or or call the National Swine flu information line on 0800 1 513 513. NHS Direct can be contacted on 0845 4647.
If we all follow the simple rule of CATCH IT, BIN IT, KILL IT, we can help reduce the spread of colds, flu and other viruses. We all have an important role to play in preventing ourselves, our families and others from spreading germs.

The messages of CATCH, IT, BIN IT, KILL IT are simple:

Germs spread easily. Always carry tissues and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
Germs can live for some time on tissues. Dispose of them as soon as possible.
Hands can transfer germs to any surface you touch such as door handles and telephones, so clean your hands as soon as you can

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