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Assessment tool for influenza pandemic preparedness in European countries

ECDC model for national pandemic preparedness

ECDC presentational tool to visualise the multi-dimensional aspects needed to ensure adequate preparedness for a pandemic (September 2008). This tool highlights aspects that national authorities need to consider in order to move towards full preparedness across in three crucial dimensions: from plans through practise (exercises) to preparedness; from national level planning to operational planning for local and front line staff; and from health sector to multisectoral approach.

ECDC Pandemic Preparedness Model Sept 2008

Assessment tool for influenza preparedness in European countries

This is the March 2007 version of a national pandemic preparedness assessment tool for Europe, developed by the Unit for Preparedness and Response at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm, in collaboration with the European Commission and the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe.

The tool is used for ongoing country support visits by joint missions from ECDC, the European Commission, and WHO EURO. The tool follows the main components of the European Commission communication on pandemic influenza preparedness and response planning in the European Community, the WHO global influenza preparedness plan, the WHO checklist for influenza pandemic preparedness planning, and existing country preparedness plans.

While the European Commission and WHO documents help countries to develop their plans, the tool allows evaluating the preparedness status. Therefore, the documents complement each other. Feedback is welcome and should be sent to

ECDC Pandemic Preparedness Indicators Alone - Version Summer 2007

Assessment tool for influenza preparedness in European countries – with a main focus on pandemic preparedness

Suggested Acid Tests’ for helping assess, stregthen local preparedness for moderate or severe pandemics

Updated February 2007

The idea of these acid tests is that those responsible for local services can use them to assess whether the can deliver what is expected of them in a crisis. They should be applied along with planning assumptions of 20-30% of staff being off sick for short periods (2 to 3 weeks) just when numbers of people seeking or requiring care increases considerably.

1. Can local services robustly and effectively deliver anti-virals to most of those that need them inside the time limit of 48 hours since start of symptoms?

2. Are there simple mechanisms for rapidly altering the indications for giving antivirals?

3. Do you have mechanisms for ensuring there are adequate supplies of anti-biotics and other essential medical supplies (infection control materials, injection devices etc) available or coming through if for a sustained period of increased need?

4. Have local primary and secondary care services identified what non-influenza core services they will sustain and what they will stop in the peak period?

5. Can local hospitals increase ventilatory support ( intensive care) for influenza patients including attending to issues including staff training, equipment and supplies?

6. How would local funeral services deal with sustained increased demand over a prolonged period whilst still meeting reasonable family expectations including those of local faith groups?

7. Has business continuity planning been completed such that essential non-influenza related core health services have been identified and could be delivered with significant numbers of personnel being unavailable for work? Specifically

a. Social care for vulnerable groups
b. Supermarket supply and delivery at check-outs
c. Fuel supply

8. Has it been agreed how local clincial, laboratory public health, social care staff will be paid for the increased working (overtime) that will take place over a pandemic and the basis of this work? Is it as volunteers, under contract etc?

9. If the intention is to close schools proactively or reactively to reduce transmission how will children be cared for so that they do not simply mix outside school?

10. Again if the intention is to close schools have parents been informed and asked what alternative arrangements they will make?

11. Once a pandemic vaccine (a vaccine that works against the new virus – it will not be ready for at least 4-6 months after the start of a pandemic) is available are there agreements made for deteriming who should receive the vaccine first?

12. Again when the pandemic vaccine becomes available are there arrangments made for its equitable and efficient delivery.

This list is not intended to be complete and ECDC welcomes both comments on the current tests and suggestions for new tests such as lessons learnt from exercises. Comments should be sent to

Suggested Acid Tests’ for helping assess, stregthen local preparedness for moderate or severe pandemics (updated February 2007)

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