If the FSA is searching social media for trends in health is the NHS not missing a trick? Searching for #illness has got to be a way forward for the overstretched NHS trust to find out what just might be around the corner when planning for the onset of winter and the problems that follow.

The annual demand on the NHS for care following flu outbreaks is normally followed by a media response reminding us all that this does happen every year.

Hopefully some joined up thinking between the FSA and NHS could give some warning of when demand will peak. The FSA will be looking for long term trends but sharing data has got to help those who need NHS care get it quickly, and the NHS plan for a real threat to public health.