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National Pandemic Flu Service (NPFS) withdrawn PDF Print Email

The National Pandemic Flu Service (NPFS) has been withdrawn (from 11 February 2010).

During the height of the swine flu pandemic threat, special arrangements were put in place for those with swine flu to obtain antiviral medicines quickly through the NPFS, a self-care service allowing patients with suspected influenza to be assessed online or by telephone. As the threat of a serious swine flu pandemic has retreated, the NPFS is no longer considered necessary and the online and telephone service has been withdrawn.

In future, anyone with flu-like symptoms, or who has recently been in contact with someone who may have swine flu, should:

  • Stay at home
  • Call the Swine Flu Information Line on 0800 1 513 513 to hear the latest advice
  • If still concerned, call their pharmacist, GP or NHS Direct on 0845 4647
  • Do not go into a pharmacy, GP surgery, or to a hospital, as it may spread the disease to others


It is extremely important that the current low levels of swine flu and the discontinuation of the NPFS do not lead to a sense of complacency about swine flu. There is still considerable uncertainty about how the virus will behave in the future. It is likely that the swine flu virus may be the predominant virus during the next seasonal flu season and that the flu season itself may start earlier. There is also a risk that the virus could change to cause more serious illness.

A vaccination programme to provide protection against swine flu began on 21 October 2009. The vaccination policy is being continued at least until the beginning of the next seasonal flu season. People who are likely to be seriously ill if they caught swine flu are encouraged to have the vaccine.

See also Swine Flu and Swine Flu Vaccinations

Reviewed on 07-02-2010