Scientific Pandemic Influenza Subgroup on Modelling (SPI-M)

The Scientific Pandemic Influenza Subgroup on Modelling (SPI-M) is a subgroup of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Advisory Committee (SPI).

In the case of dealing with a new pandemic flu virus there is little data and a wide range in the plausible assumptions. The role of modelling is to map out the range of possible risks and to suggest which responses are robust over the range of uncertainty.

Terms of reference

To advise the SPI on all matters relating to the modelling of anticipated aspects of an influenza pandemic and potential implications for policy decisions.

The subgroup will provide expert advice to the SPI, which advises government on scientific matters relating to the health response to an influenza pandemic. The subgroup will play a critical role in ensuring that the SPI, and through the SPI, UK National Influenza Pandemic Committee (UKNIPC), and ministers are properly assisted in the development of a set of flexible responses that cover (in an appropriate and feasible way) the whole range of anticipated risks.

In addition to their work on the subgroup, members may be called upon to attend the SPI or the UKNIPC meetings or to provide advice on matters arising on which the members’ particular expertise may be of assistance to the public service. It is recognised that in a pandemic situation, such requests will need to be made at short notice and that deadlines are likely to be very short.

Members of the group will:

  • bring relevant experience to the group
  • contribute to the provision of high quality and considered advice to the SPI and UK ministers of health
  • be expected to make a full and considered contribution to the work of the group and to contribute fully to the debate and to the decision making processes of the group
  • provide expert guidance when an issue which falls within their particular area of expertise is under discussion
  • contribute to the debate in the capacity of a well-informed professional where the issue does not fall within their expertise; be prepared, as requested by the secretariat, to occasionally provide expert advice on relevant issues outside group meetings
  • be prepared to attend as required and contribute to the deliberations of the UKNIPC, SPI or other appropriate committee

News and publications

SPI-M publishes a modelling summary that represents their consensus view. It is not a polished report of the group’s deliberations and conclusions. Rather it is a working document, updated after each meeting of the subgroup, to record the group’s advice in a form that can be immediately used to assist in the formulation of policy.

Read news and publications from SPI-M

SPI-M-O and the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic

During 2009 SPI-M members met regularly (as SPI-M-O) and produced various documents which have now been archived.

Read archived documents from SPI-M-O and the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic


  • Dr Peter Grove, Senior Principal OR Analyst, DH (Chair)
  • Professor John Edmunds, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Professor Neil Ferguson, Professor of Mathematical Biology Imperial College Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr Ian Hall, Scientific Programme Leader, HPA
  • Professor Matt Keeling, Professor at the Mathematics Institute and the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Warwick
  • Dr Steve Leach, Scientific Programme Head, HPA
  • Dr Peter White, Head of Modelling and Economics unit, HPA

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