To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2008, Official Report, column 593W, on influenza, what progress has been made in testing the public's reactions to many issues in pandemic planning and decision-making; on what issues the reaction of the public is being tested; in what ways the reaction of the public is being tested; and if he will make a statement.
A public engagement programme started in January 2008. It was aimed at testing a range of pandemic planning issues and anticipating the public's likely response, as a means of informing communications strategies and the future implementation of the 'National framework for responding to an influenza pandemic'.
A range of scenarios were developed based on the major dimensions of uncertainty and impact relating to a pandemic. The qualitative research consisted of one day workshops in each of the four countries within the United Kingdom. 40 members of the public attended each event, split into groups of mixed age, gender and socio-economic group. In addition, 11 in-depth interviews were undertaken in relation to hard to reach and vulnerable groups.
The detailed research findings are currently being analysed and will be used to inform detailed pandemic planning.