Health secretary Alan Johnson has announced plans to buy 350 million surgical masks and 34 million respirators for NHS and social care staff to use in the event of a flu pandemic.

The government also plans to double the stock of antiviral drugs to cover at least half of the population.

Announcing a new countermeasures strategy and national framework, Mr Johnson said: 'We know a pandemic would have significant social and economic impact as well as a serious effect on the health of the population.'

To download the framework, click here