university of brighton by lindash

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									University Of Brighton INFLUENZA PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS PLAN: May 2007 (amended May 2009) Background  The World Health Organisation (WHO) is coordinating the global response to human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) and monitoring the corresponding threat of an influenza pandemic. Should the virus acquire an ability to spread efficiently among humans, an influenza pandemic is expected to begin.  The influenza A virus can mutate in two different ways; antigenic drift, in which existing antigens are subtly altered, and antigenic shift, in which two or more strains combine. Antigenic drift causes slight flu mutations year on year, from which humans have partial, but not complete, immunity. By contrast, the new strain of H1N1 appears to have originated via antigenic shift in Mexican pigs.  The highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus has been infecting poultry in parts of Asia since mid 2003. Even though it has been transmitted to more than 200 humans in 10 countries it remains primarily a disease of birds.  The symptoms of swine flu are similar to seasonal flu - sore throat, coughing and fever, headaches and muscle aches. People with these symptoms and have also recently been to one of the affected areas should telephone their GP or NHS Direct.  The virus passes from human to human like other types of flu, either through coughing, sneezing, or by touching infected surfaces. Contact with other people should be avoided as much as possible. When coughing the nose and mouth should be covered and hands washed frequently.  The features of a pandemic include the fact that vaccines are unlikely to be available initially. A specific vaccine would be made when the virus has been identified, but this may take at least 4-6 months. Antiviral medications are likely to be the only major medical countermeasure available early in a pandemic. The UK has built up a stockpile of of Tamiflu and Relenza to treat 50% of the population. These are not a cure, but evidence shows that they lessen the symptoms and shorten the illness. Healthcare services would be overwhelmed and there would be significant disruption to everyday life and essential services.  Unlike “seasonal flu” which normally occurs in winter, pandemic flu may occur at any time of year. Based on conservative projections, the Department of Health estimates that in the next pandemic there will be 50,000 more deaths than can be attributed to seasonal influenza in the UK and around 25-35% of the working population will require time off (5-8 days over a 3 month period). It is likely to spread rapidly in schools and other communities, e.g. universities.  Historically influenza pandemics usually occur every 20-30 years. The last flu pandemic occurred in 1968, so the next pandemic is overdue, but the exact timing cannot be predicted accurately.  It is probable that medical controls (e.g. vaccination, antiviral drugs, etc) will be of limited capability, at least initially, and therefore social interventions (hand washing, respiratory hygiene, restricting mass gatherings, service closures, and isolation of cases) are likely to be very important. University of Brighton Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan May 2007 amended Aug 2009

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The broad framework for the management of major incidents is contained within the University Of Brighton‟s Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity (DRBC) Plan, to which this document relates. The University‟s main intention in responding to an influenza pandemic is to protect the lives and well-being of its students and staff. In this context, the University expects to receive and be guided by advice from the relevant authorities such as Public Health officials (e.g. the Department of Health and Health Protection Agency, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the World Health Organisation and the Brighton and Hove Primary Care Trust) and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). The University is committed to meeting or going beyond the requirements and recommendations it receives through these channels. The University Of Brighton is also liaising closely with the University Of Sussex. The University recognises that pandemic flu will have a different impact on different individuals or groups e.g. those who are on short academic programmes may suffer greater disadvantage by reduction in services. The University will take these issues into account in planning and responding. Pandemic preparedness would also depend on the time of year when the pandemic starts, for example, if it begins during the vacation would students be asked not to return to University? There is also a possibility that overseas students and staff come from affected areas and it would need to be considered whether they are able to return home as international travel may be either difficult or impossible. It is also recognised that the University‟s ability to meet its commitments during and after a flu pandemic will be affected by the capabilities of its external suppliers and contractors.

Phases of pandemic influenza The following table from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows the different phases of pandemic influenza - currently phase 5 – widespread human infection. Phases 4–6 clearly signal the need for response and mitigation efforts.

University of Brighton Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan

May 2007 amended Aug 2009

Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short. Implications for the University Of Brighton Once a pandemic has been declared (phase 6), a four point alert mechanism has been developed which is consistent with the alert levels in other UK infectious disease response plans. Businesses including universities need to plan for different outbreak scenarios according to the alert levels. Alert levels 1 virus/cases only outside the UK 2 virus isolated in the UK 3 outbreak(s) in the UK 4 widespread activity across the UK The following are points that need to be considered for the University Of Brighton. It will then be necessary to delineate accountability and responsibility as well as resources for key stakeholders involved in planning and implementing the University Of Brighton Pandemic Influenza Plan. Surveillance Intention - To maintain sufficient awareness of local, regional, national and global developments to ensure that planning and preparedness activities are appropriate and timely to enable decisions to be made to limit the impact of the disease  Liaison with external agencies – Primary Care Trust and the Health Protection Agency  Appoint team/persons responsible for gathering information and making decisions Planning Intention - To develop a preparedness plan covering all relevant areas of University activity and interest so that when a pandemic arrives in the UK the University plan can be activated.  Continue essential activities as normally as possible during a pandemic  Incorporate the University Of Brighton Pandemic Influenza Plan in the University Of Brighton Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan  Plan for a range of scenarios e.g. staying open, reducing operations or closing to students, depending on infectivity and severity. The DfES is not expected to advised universities to close – this would be decided by the Vice Chancellor. Operating during pandemic Plan assuming average absence levels for staff who are ill or caring for sick relatives peaking at 15% - but if schools/childcare facilities close, then absence levels may be higher (25-50%). Also need to consider “worried well” being absent from work.. Deciding whether to remain open or close  How to operate with potentially high rates of absence among staff and students University of Brighton Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan May 2007 amended Aug 2009

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Whether it is necessary to close building or the University (Vice Chancellor to decide) Remain open unless staff shortages make it impossible to continue operating Halls of residence will probably stay open even if academic activities reduced Aim to continue essential activities as normally as possible during a pandemic. Identify which core services must be maintained Availability of caretakers to open/close buildings Also consider heating/building services if caretakers/estate officers absent Supplies – e.g. catering, equipment, stationery. How long can the University Of Brighton continue without supplies? Is there a need to stockpile reserves? Do suppliers have contingency arrangements in place? Identify possible alternative suppliers If young adults vulnerable as in Spanish Flu the DfES may advise closure

Consider triggers for closure  Minimum staffing levels  Which types of staff required to remain open  If the University Of Brighton does close, need to consider how the decision to reopen will be made and how this would be communicated Communication Intention  To inform staff and students to enable them to respond appropriately to the evolving pandemic situation  To develop policy and procedures for communication with student and staff communities before and during the pandemic  To provide reassurance to the University and local community. Implementation of procedures for student and staff communications  Prepare for establishment of telephone helpline  Up-to-date contact details (including next of kin)  Text messaging, emails, Staff and Student Central, telephone trees  Staff and students informed on frequent and regular basis of changing situation  Staff and students advised of relevant signs and symptoms  Widespread publicity of relevant social interventions, e.g. hand washing, what to do if you feel unwell  Dealing with the media and external communications would be the responsibility of Marketing and Communications Learning and teaching Intention – To minimise impact on University Of Brighton and to continue normal operations where possible Teaching Normal teaching to continue as far as possible with preparation of non-contact forms of teaching and learning – support from Information Services  Lecturers collect email contacts  Email activities  Student central University of Brighton Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan May 2007 amended Aug 2009

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Guided reading set texts with questions Recorded lectures and other alternatives to face-to-face teaching, e.g. distance learning modules Ascertain who has remote internet access Library may be self-service or remote access only Events and conferences may need postponing – reduced revenue

Examinations  Consider alternative assessment methods.  Students may appeal grades Student progress and awards Consider issues following interrupted assessment  Minimum requirement of attendance  Extending term times Placement students Preparation for maintaining contact with students during different phases  Collect email contacts  Monitor advice from Foreign and Commonwealth Office  Consider student teachers if schools closed and health care students in hospitals Research students  Consideration of reading and analysis activities that are not dependent on library attendance Recruitment/admissions activities  Preparation for adjustments for open/information days  Processing applications, interviews  Numbers may be reduced, which would also have financial implications  Policies for accepting students who may not have been able to sit A-level exams

Student and Staff Welfare Intention - To protect the health and wellbeing of staff and students Staff and student welfare  Collect data on staff and student absences  Identify local health care facilities/flu centres Student welfare  The close proximity of students in halls of residence may facilitate spread of infection  Halls of residence will probably stay open even if academic activities reduced  Reduce travel from one site to another  May need financial assistance for urgent unplanned journeys home to family University of Brighton Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan May 2007 amended Aug 2009

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„Buddy‟ schemes for students living alone with no family around – ensure get food and basic medication Provision of student health care service and support for sick students including pastoral care (home visits) and help lines Counselling e.g. death of a student

Staff welfare  Depleted workforce, which may lead to unfamiliar tasks or lone working – may need training/risk assessments. Ensure appropriate deputies/alternates are in place  Consider using recently retired staff  Working with Unions/Staff Associations – agree appropriate local staff flexibilities and working practices, e.g. home working/remote access  Store data on shared hard drives rather than personal drives. Emails and diaries available for consultation if required  Sickness absence policy – caring for sick family  Sick certificates and reporting absence/illness procedures may be affected  Security of wage/salary in the event of the University closing Infection control to prevent spread  Personal responsibility to protect self  Social responsibility to lessen spread of virus – coughing/sneezing etiquette and hand washing  Obtain adequate stocks of hand cleaner, tissues (Health Protection Agency advise masks only necessary if dealing with infected persons)  Personal hygiene for cleaning staff – may need further training  There may be a lack of cleaning staff (due to absence) when improved hygiene required. May need to change cleaning regime  Waste removal  Movement of infected students and staff from/to different sites  Increased availability of “take-away” meals/sandwiches to reduce large groups eating in restaurants Post-pandemic period The end of the pandemic would be announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The University Of Brighton would plan to return to normal functioning as soon as appropriately possible, seeking and acting on guidance form local and national Public Health officials and following their recommendations.  Continuing lectures, examinations, and research  Reschedule examinations and other forms of assessment  Revision of work schedules and extension of submission dates as appropriate  Reinstatement of student placement activities as appropriate  Re-establish conference programmes  Liaison with insurers Assessment and evaluation  Business impact  Impact on community and external relations University of Brighton Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan May 2007 amended Aug 2009

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Effectiveness of planned response Lessons learnt Update preparedness planning

Planning the response To establish a planning group to take these and other ideas forward, so that prerequisites can be put in place before a human influenza pandemic occurs. A suggested group may include representatives from:  Each Faculty, School or Department  Student services  Residences and catering  Personnel  Estates and Facilities Management  Marketing and Communications  Information Services In the event of a human pandemic being declared the group would defer to the Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Team.

Acknowledgement Information compiled from the University of Surrey, the University of Sussex, the Health Protection Agency, Department of Health, Department for Education and Skills, World Health Organisation and BBC.

University of Brighton Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plan

May 2007 amended Aug 2009


								
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