uk_department_of_healthThe UK Dept of Health has released The Flu Pandemic Game, a role playing game/simulation aimed at helping businesses imagine the effect that swine flu could have on their business. The game was devised by the Camden Primary Care Trust in North London. To avoid making the game “unwieldy”, there is no possibility of death due to the disease.

This is not the first time the DoH has released a game or used role play in its efforts to reach the public. Earlier this month they released Exercise Cold Play II, an update to a previous activity for health care professionals to work through treating Flu response.

In 2004, they released Trust Me, I’m a Patient, a role play game for 20 to 100 participants about a town whose three GPs are replaced with a heath center (sound familiar?) Additional games include Diagnosis It, helping kids diagnose and treat medical conditions, and a role play based on a visit to surgery. The dept found these earlier releases to be successful.

According to source:

Katherine Murphy, [Director] of the Patients’ Association, said: ‘This game is a ridiculous use of time and money. The Government should be focusing on letting patients know how to get the drugs they need and whether they should be taking them.

‘The money and time spent on this game could surely have been better spent on organising the swine flu helpline better and actually helping patients.’