Pandemic (H1N1) 2009: setting up a multi-agency regional response centre--a toolkit for other public health emergencies.

Vivien Cleary*, Sooria Balasegaram, Brian McCloskey, David Keeling, Deborah Turbitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The H1N1 pandemic emerged from Mexico in April 2009. In the UK, local Health Protection Units were quickly overwhelmed with calls from health professionals seeking public health advice on this novel virus. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) led the initial response and established regional flu response centres (FRCs). In London, the HPA's flu response moved swiftly from four in-house emergency operations centres to a fully functional multiagency response centre in rented office space, working with a new database, IT and telephone systems to provide a regional response. Surge capacity was sought from the National Health Service (NHS) and other agencies. The London FRC transferred to NHS leadership supported by the existing management team to assist the NHS in London prior to the opening of the National Pandemic Flu Service. Structured debriefs were undertaken, identifying lessons for future evolving incidents. This paper gives an overview of the activation, resilience and decommissioning of the London FRC, incorporating the lessons identified and key recommendations into a toolkit for future emergency evolving incidents that adopt a regional response centre model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of business continuity & emergency planning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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