Efforts to ensure that NHS social care in England can cope with a flu pandemic have been strengthened by the appointment of a director of flu services.

Roy Taylor will report to David Behan, director general for social care, and work closely with Ian Dalton, the national director for NHS flu resilience.

Mr Taylor said: “The social care sector, like the NHS, needs to make sure it continues to build robust plans to protect vulnerable people from flu.

“Commissioners and providers need to work together, and so do adult and children’s services. I look forward to helping make this happen.”

Care services minister Phil Hope said the appointment strengthened Britain’s readiness, and that “the World Health Organisation says we are among the most prepared countries in the world.

“Roy has been involved in the planning for pandemic flu for the last three years, and has worked in social care more widely for a long time before that, so he brings a wealth of experience to the role. I look forward to working with him.”