"Since the influenza pandemic in 1968/69, changes to health service delivery and the growth of the UK population, particularly in the older age groups, have meant that the excess capacity to accommodate sudden influxes of patients, which historically existed in the healthcare system, no longer exists. It is estimated that given a 50% clinical attack rate, a locality with 100,000 people could expect 11,000 clinical cases of influenza-like illness in the peak week of a pandemic, with 440 of these people requiring hospitalisation. With these projected numbers, it is likely that health services will be overwhelmed rapidly, unless steps to preserve the provision of essential care are taken, as well as measures to control access to such care are taken. This document provides guidance on managing the managing the demand and the capacity needed to respond to this volume of patients and the ability of the health service to expand beyond normal capacity to meet an increased demand for clinical care."
2009 Crown Press. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
United Kingdom Department of Health: http://www.dh.gov.uk/