Labour warned Lansley that axing annual flu awareness campaign would have severe consequences - Burnham

16 April 2012

Andy BurnhamAndy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, in response to Sir Liam Donaldson's review of the Department of Health’s flu failings, said:

"Expert warnings do not come any more high-level and serious than this review from a former Chief Medical Officer.   
 
"Labour and public health experts repeatedly warned Andrew Lansley that axing the annual flu awareness campaign would have severe consequences. Now patients may have paid the highest price for his inability to listen.
 
"This Health Secretary wilfully ignores medical evidence and expert advice. This arrogance is why he has permanently lost the trust of NHS staff and patients.
 
"The Government failed to initiate public awareness campaigns for two consecutive winters. Now the Government's top-down NHS reorganisation risks a repeat of these failings; they are inflicting chaos on the health service and the ability to plan for public health emergencies has been weakened.
 
"Yet again the Health Secretary has got it wrong. This review lays the blame for these failings squarely at his door. There is now an overwhelming case for a change of policy in advance of the next flu season."