Select Committee on Science and Technology Minutes of Evidence



  28 June 2002

  Sir Liam Donaldson

  The Chief Medical Officer

  The Department of Health

  Richmond House

  79 Whitehall

  London SW1A 2NS

  Dear Sir Liam

  Getting Ahead Of The Curve: A strategy for combating infectious diseases (including other aspects of health protection)

  Please find attached the response of the UK Clinical Virology Network.

  The UK Clinical Virology Network was established last year to co-ordinate the activities of the nation's virologists. You have received information about this previously in a letter from Professor K Cartwright and Dr M Zuckerman, and in the report of a Joint Working Group of the Royal College of Pathologists/ Association of Medical Microbiologists chaired by Professor D Jeffries.

  In summary, we have agreed to interact as a series of specialist laboratories in a hub-and-spoke relationship with geographically-linked District General Hospitals. Our aim is to provide best practice to all parts of the UK by sharing laboratory protocols and epidemiological information using a dedicated website. Furthermore, we intend to use the network to ensure that information on the current epidemiology of virus infections is provided electronically to the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre. To date, a representative committee has been appointed, a constitution agreed and the website, with educational, practical and interactive elements, will be live by June 2002. A working group has already begun to prioritise a wide range of activities for the benefit of the network and the practice of clinical and public health virology.

  All of these broad aims are similar to those set out in your document "Getting Ahead Of The Curve" and so we are able to respond positively and enthusiastically to your proposals. Once you and your colleagues have read our response, members of the Network Working Group would like to meet to discuss our plans and funding requirements with your staff. To arrange a convenient date, I can be contacted on telephone: (020) 7830 2997.

  Yours sincerely

Paul D Griffiths

Professor of Virology and Chief Executive Officer, UK Clinical Virology Network

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