London North West Healthcare NHS Trust needs to plan for, and respond to, a wide range of incidents and emergencies that could affect health, patient care or the operation of the Trust.
Major incidents can range from extreme weather conditions to an infectious disease outbreak or a major transport emergency, where psychosocial support could be required. The Civil Contingencies Act (2004) requires NHS organisations to show they can deal with such incidents while maintaining critical services.
This programme of work is referred to in the health community as emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR).
We work in close cooperation with other partners in the health community and emergency services, in planning for and responding to all types of emergencies and major incidents.
In the event of a local or national emergency, the Trust aims to provide:
- support for the emergency services
- assistance to other NHS organisations
- continuing support and care for the community
- mitigation of the effects of the emergency
- assistance to non-NHS organisations.
To ensure we are able to respond to incidents when they occur, we
- assess the risk of different types of emergency
- prioritise the development of plans to respond to different types of emergencies for example, accidents, infectious diseases, or system failures
- plan to continue to deliver our critical services
- have procedures in place to warn and inform the public
- have an EPRR training and exercise programme to test our capability to respond to large scale incidents.
These actions help to ensure that we are prepared to respond to incidents and ensure that the first-class acute and specialist services in all our hospitals can continue to deliver good patient care, excellent education and world-class research.
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA 2004)
The CCA establishes a clear set of roles and responsibilities for those involved in emergency preparedness and response.
Category 1 responders are those parties at the core of emergency response and include NHS organisations, Public Health England (PHE), Police and Fire Brigade.
As a category 1 responder we are subject to the full set of civil protection duties. These include:
- having emergency response plans in place
- arrangements to make information available to the public and maintain arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency
- sharing information with other local responders to enhance co-ordination
- co-operating with other local responders and our partner agencies, through the Local Resilience Forum, to enhance co-ordination and efficiency
- having robust business continuity management arrangements in place.
Emergency planning team
The Trust has an emergency planning team, but every member of staff plays a vital role in ensuring a professional NHS response to an incident, with each area of the Trust having a nominated lead for emergency planning.
Colin McDonnell, emergency planning manager
Adam Elderfield, emergency planning officer