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Response to swine flu services criticism

The government has explained why it has offered public sector staff overtime pay to provide swine flu services, instead of inviting unemployed people to do the work.

A spokesman says existing public sector staff are more likely to have experience dealing with the public and handling confidential information.

Earlier this week, Prospect and the Government Officers Association hit out at government plans to staff swine flu information and medicine distribution points.

The unions said asking for volunteers from the public sector was 'wasteful and ill thought out', and unemployed people should be offered the work instead.

But the government says existing staff will be able to step into the role easily and provide the best service to the public.

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