NHS services in Scotland and Wales are seeking more government money to combat the expected upsurge of swine flu cases in the autumn.

The fight against the swine flu virus was top of the agenda at a meeting of Scottish and Welsh finance ministers John Swinney and Andrew Davies.

They were urged by Sammy Wilson, their counterpart in Northern Ireland, to ensure local programmes were properly funded in what will be a major health challenge.

Mr Wilson said: “With the increasingly constrained financial environment in which we are operating, I want to ensure not only that we provide the best service possible, but that we do so in a cost-effective way.

“In this context, we also discussed the funding arrangements in respect of the UK response to swine flu, and agreed that additional financial support should be provided to each of the administrations.”

He praised the work being done in Scotland and Wales to ensure their health services could deal with the pandemic in the most effective manner.