GP leaders in Wales have said there is no need for the country to sign up to the national pandemic flu phone line, which is operating in England.

Welsh health experts have said the NHS in Wales is sufficiently prepared to deal with the swine flu pandemic.

Dr David Bailey, who is chairman of the British Medical Association’s GP committee in Wales, said the group supported the decision to opt out of the phone line service. He added that while GPs in Wales have been stretched in recent weeks, they have proven they can deliver and they will continue to do so.

He said: “I strongly believe that patients want diagnoses of whatever their illness may be, made by clinicians, not call centres.

“The general public does have a part to play in helping to contain the spread of swine flu for the coming winter months, by self-caring if their symptoms do not seem to be too severe. The majority of healthy people can manage the virus themselves, without the need to see their GP, as is the case with other seasonal flu viruses.”