Under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004), NHS organisations and providers of NHS funded care must show that they can effectively respond to emergencies and business continuity incidents while maintaining services to patients. This work is referred to in the health service as ‘emergency preparedness, resilience and response’ (EPRR).
The NHS England Core Standards for Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR) are the minimum standards which NHS organisations and providers of NHS funded care must meet:
As a provider of NHS funded services the standards require the Trust to:
- Support our CCGs and NHS England, within their health economies, in discharging their EPRR functions and duties, locally and regionally, under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004;
- Have robust and effective structures in place to adequately plan, prepare and exercise the tactical and operational response arrangements both internally and with their local healthcare partners;
- Ensure business continuity plans mitigate the impact of any emergency, so far as is reasonably practicable;
- Ensure robust 24/7 communication “cascade and escalation” policies and procedures are in place, to inform CCGs and healthcare partners, as appropriate, of any incident impacting on service delivery;
- Ensure that recovery planning is an integral part of its EPRR function;
- Provide assurance that organisations are delivering their contractual obligations with respect to EPRR;
- Ensure organisational planning and preparedness is based on current risk registers; and
- Provide appropriate director level representation at Local Health Resilience Partnership(s) and appropriate tactical and/or operational representation at local health economy planning groups in support of EPRR requirements.
For the NHS, incidents are classed as either:
- Business Continuity Incident;
- Critical Incident; or
- Major Incident.