The World Health Organization (WHO) uses a series of six phases of pandemic alert to indicate the seriousness of the threat. We are currently at Phase 5, characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will be be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalise the organisation, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short..
*Definition of a Pandemic
(of a disease) prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.
In the light of the potential for a 'flu pandemic' in the near/medium term, the national Public Health Service (NHPS) has begun formulating contingency plans for dealing with the outbreak.
As part of its planning the National Public Health Service for Wales has requested that the University, as a major organisation/community in Cardiff, prepares its own contingency and business continuity plans. The University has an overarching Major Incident Plan, which is underpinned by 'local' plans at School/Directorate level.
Pandemic Flu - preparing for a potential outbreak:
Cardiff University's Governance and Compliance Division (GOVRN) is responsible for over-seeing Contingency Planning and Business Continuity arrangements for the University. GOVRN staff have been working with colleagues across the University to identify risks, seek ways of reducing the spread and prepare for the effects of a potential pandemic flu outbreak.
A Pandemic Flu Advisory Group chaired by Dr Chris Turner, Director of Student Services and Governance was established in November 2005. The group membership is made up of a representative from each Directorate and the Students Union. Expert advice is provided by colleagues in Occupational, Safety, Health and Environment Unit and from Cardiff Council Emergency Planning Department. Colleagues from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, University of Wales Institute Cardiff and Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust also attend. The main focus of the group is to monitor preparedness planning across the University and to facilitate effective communication.
All Heads of Schools/Directorates have been asked to identify likely areas of risk and put appropriate business continuity arrangements in place.
Further information can be obtained from:
Mrs Michelle Ensor
Tel: (029) 208 79639
Mrs Carole Evans
Tel: (029) 208 79638
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