NHS preparations for a post-Brexit bubonic plague outbreak (Black Swan event)

Indigo made this Freedom of Information request to NHS England

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

NHS England did not have the information requested.

Professor Dame Sally Davies
Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Medical Advisor to the UK government
NHS England

Dear Professor Davies

I should be grateful to receive any information about NHS England preparations

(a) to ensure that the NHS has enough appropriate antibiotics - treptomycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, or ciprofloxacin - to treat the entire population of England and Wales in the event that bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis) crosses the Atlantic (eg from Denver, Colorado, or from Los Angeles, California) after the UK leaves the European Union, whenever that is.

(b) to deal with an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant bubonic plague any time after the UK leaves the European Union, whenever that is.

As the vector - fleas - could be brought into the UK on their clothes (or in a matchbox) by someone travelling from America, and as US biosecurity standards are so different (worse) from those of the UK, and as the very common rat in London (rattus rattus) is a potential host, I cannot help feeling that an outbreak of bubonic plague shortly after Brexit may be more likely than another influenza epidemic.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely
Rachel Mawhood

FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

Dear Rachel Mawhood,

 

Thank you for your communication dated 19 August 2019.

 

NHS England has assessed your communication as a request under the Freedom
of Information (FOI) Act 2000. As such, please be assured that your
request is being dealt with under the terms of the FOI Act and will be
answered within twenty working days.

 

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Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
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communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows:- PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [2][NHS England request email].

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information

Corporate Communications Team

Transformation and Corporate Operations Directorate

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Email: [3][NHS England request email]

 

‘Health and High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

 

 

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FOI, England (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT - X24), NHS England

Dear Rachel Mawhood,

 

Thank you for your communication dated 19 August 2019.

 

NHS England has assessed your communication as a request under the Freedom
of Information (FOI) Act 2000. As such, your request is being dealt with
under the terms of the FOI Act, and has been allocated the following
reference number: FOI-060031.

 

Your exact request was:

 

“I should be grateful to receive any information about NHS England
preparations

 

(a)  to ensure that the NHS has enough appropriate antibiotics -
treptomycin, gentamicin, doxycycline, or ciprofloxacin - to treat the
entire population of England and Wales in the event that bubonic plague
(Yersinia pestis) crosses the Atlantic (eg from Denver, Colorado, or from
Los Angeles, California) after the UK leaves the European Union, whenever
that is.

 

(b)  to deal with an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant bubonic plague any
time after the UK leaves the European Union, whenever that is.

 

As the vector - fleas - could be brought into the UK on their clothes (or
in a matchbox) by someone travelling from America, and as US biosecurity
standards are so different (worse) from those of the UK, and as the very
common rat in London (rattus rattus) is a potential host, I cannot help
feeling that an outbreak of bubonic plague shortly after Brexit may be
more likely than another influenza epidemic.”

 

NHS England does not hold information in relation to your request.

                           

It may help if we first explain that NHS England is not the same as ‘the
NHS in England’. The NHS in England is not a single organisation but is
made up of a range of organisations such as Hospitals, Clinical
Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Ambulance Trusts. NHS England is
responsible for commissioning primary care services such as GP and dental
surgeries, as well as some specialised secondary care services. Therefore,
any recorded information NHS England may be able to provide in response to
an FOI request will generally relate to the services NHS England
commissions.

 

For information on commissioned services and the types of information NHS
England holds can be found on our [1]website and [2]publication scheme.
For further information on the NHS, its structure and other NHS
organisations please refer to the [3]NHS website.

 

Plans for Brexit in terms of medical stockpiling are held by the
Department of Health and Social Care. As such, you may wish to redirect
your enquiry to the Department of Health and Social Care directly. We have
included their contact information below for your reference:

 

By Writing:                 Ministerial Correspondence and Public
Enquiries Unit

Department of Health and Social Care

Richmond House

79 Whitehall

London

SW1A 2NS

           

Contact form:           
[4]http://www.info.doh.gov.uk/contactus.nsf...

 

We hope this information is helpful. However, if you are dissatisfied, you
have the right to ask for an internal review. This should be requested in
writing within two months of the date of this letter. Your correspondence
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and/or the area(s) you would like the review to consider. Internal Review
requests should be sent to:

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Email: [5][NHS England request email]

 

Please quote the reference number FOI-060031 in any future communications.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can be contacted at:

 

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Email: [6][email address]  

Website: [7]www.ico.org.uk

 

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Please be aware that in line with the Information Commissioner’s directive
on the disclosure of information under the FOI Act, your request will be
anonymised and published on our website as part of our disclosure log.

 

Please do not reply to this email. This message has been sent from a
central mailbox. To communicate with NHS England regarding Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, enquiries or complaints we ask these are sent
directly to NHS England’s customer contact centre. This is to ensure all
communications are progressed correctly. Their postal address, telephone
number and email details are as follows: PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT;
0300 3 11 22 33, [8][NHS England request email].

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Freedom of Information

Corporate Communications Team

Transformation and Corporate Operations Directorate

 

NHS England

PO Box 16738

REDDITCH

B97 9PT

 

Tel: 0300 311 22 33

Email: [9][NHS England request email]

 

‘Health and High quality care for all, now and for future generations’

 

 

 

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