Intended for healthcare professionals


Government may give “range” of scenarios in pandemics rather than “worst case” predictions only

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 20 May 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3153
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

The government may in future present a range of possible scenarios during pandemic situations and their likelihood of happening instead of focusing on worst case scenarios.

A change of approach is apparent in the newly published government response to the parliamentary science and technology select committee report on scientific advice and evidence in emergencies published in March.

In the original report from the committee, MPs said that although the government dealt with the swine flu pandemic of 2009-10 in a “fairly satisfactory way,” the way risks were communicated to the public was poor and the use of the concept of “reasonable worst case scenario” was potentially misleading because people thought it described something that was likely to happen and led to sensational media …

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