Emergency planning

As an NHS Trust, we need to plan and respond to, a wide range of incidents that could impact health or patient care. This could include:

  • a period of severe pressure
  • extreme weather
  • an outbreak of an infectious disease
  • or a major transport accident

We must be able to maintain key services when faced with local disruption. For example severe weather, fuel or supply shortages, or industrial action. We call this business continuity management.

We use the integrated emergency management cycle to anticipate, assess, prevent, prepare, respond and recover from disruption. The cycle ensures a constant review of activity and robust preparedness arrangements.

Business continuity

Some people would call this common sense. It means we take responsibility for what we do and make sure we can carry on.

We have assessed our services and know what activities we need to maintain so we can continue to provide them. This information helps us to recover quickly and effectively. We have business continuity plans for all our services.

Significant incidents and emergencies

Significant incidents and emergencies are events that we cannot manage within our usual arrangements. These events may need us to put in place special measures. This usually involves one or more emergency services, the NHS or local authorities. It could be any of the examples listed above.

We use the term major incident to describe an event or situation that threatens serious damage to health in the UK. It also includes war or terrorism which threatens to damage the security of the UK. We would use it to describe incidents with mass casualties, terrorism, or a pandemic.

Winter wellbeing

We define winter as 1 November to 31 March. In this period we plan for cold weather. You can sign up to receive cold weather alerts during this period. If the temperature drops outside these dates, a special alert will be issued.

The Met Office has published free weather-ready resources.

We have a cold weather plan. This gives advice to help prevent avoidable effects on health when it is cold. It reminds people of the negative health effects. This allows them to prepare for cold weather.

The cold weather plan for England aims to help health and social care deal with periods of cold weather. Read the action cards for cold weather alert service. These action cards summarise advice on how different organisations need to respond to cold weather alert levels 0 through 4.

Watch or listen to weather forecasts on local TV or radio. This will help you plan journeys.