Trafford Primary Care Trust has implemented Pandemic Manager from business intelligence specialists 21c to equip itself in the event of the failure of the national flu response system.

The PCT said it could use the software to help run its own local telephone triage systems as a contingency model if the National Pandemic Flu Service became unavailable, automating the allocation and stock management of anti-viral medicines.

Dr Abdul Razzaq, director of public health at Trafford PCT, said it was now equipped as a local telephone flu triage unit.

He added: “We needed to replace paper flows of data between the various anti-viral locations. These sites are scattered across the borough and require constant IT connection, so that we can understand in real-time who is coming to collect appropriate medication.

"Pandemic Manager will provide the solution to support this activity as part of our contingency emergency planning.”

21c said Pandemic Manager was based on standard Microsoft tools and would manage the stocks, distribution and dispensation of anti-virals or vaccines as well as patient contact and GP liaison using a set of electronic forms and workflow.

Paul Henderson, 21c managing director, said the use of Microsoft Business Intelligence tools meant 21c solutions provided a common platform that fitted neatly into the NHS IT infrastructure.

He added: “This BI project is not only about responding to the current pandemic but also about mitigating the risk posed by planning for any kind of emergency, as well as improving everyday operations such as for immunisations and vaccinations.”