Care conference squares up to the challenges of swine flu

By Pits’m’Pots Reporter.

Over 250 representatives from the private care sector attended a Staffordshire Swine Flu Pandemic Conference yesterday.

The event at Uttoxeter racecourse was jointly organised by the county council and the Joint Commissioning Unit, a partnership between Staffordshire County Council, South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust and NHS North Staffordshire.

Delegates learned how private care homes should prepare for dealing with swine flu. It featured three workshops dealing with specific issues relating to the pandemic.

County Councillor Matthew Ellis, Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing opened the conference.

Matthew Ellis

Matthew Ellis

He said, “Swine flu offers enormous challenges, both to the country and for Staffordshire. By working together the independent, voluntary and public sectors can help mitigate the effects. Today’s conference has helped people understand what help is available and how they can prepare their organisations.

“It is vital that we do everything we can to maintain essential social care and health services, and our community partners have a crucial role to play in responding to the needs of Staffordshire residents.

“Today’s event was filled to capacity which shows how seriously it is being taken by carers from all sectors. Maintaining services during the pandemic is currently Staffordshire County Council’s top priority.”

Other speakers were Allison Heseltine, Infection Control Lead at South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT), Andy Marshall, Director of Staffordshire Civil Contingencies Unit and Ian James, Director of the Joint Commissioning Unit.

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