The NHS needs to plan for, and respond to, a wide range of incidents and emergencies that could affect health, patient care or business as usual. Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, NHS organisations have a statutory responsibility to respond to such incidents whilst maintaining services to patients. This work is referred to in the NHS as Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR) and there is specific NHS England guidance, the Emergency Preparedness Framework 2015 and NHS England Core Standards for Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response. The guidance documents outline in greater detail, the EPRR expectations of CCGs, amongst other NHS organisations.
In addition the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (Sec 46 para (1)) also states that:
“each clinical commissioning group must take appropriate steps for securing that it is properly prepared for dealing with a relevant emergency.”
To enable Wolverhampton CCG (WCCG) to deliver against the requirements above a Major Incident Response Plan, and supporting documents, have been developed and staff are trained for their role in any incident or emergency.
EPRR is not just the responsibility of WCCG, or just the NHS, and WCCG is a member of the West Midlands Local Health Resilience Partnership, formed of NHS organisations, and Local Resilience Forum comprising all organisations with a statutory emergency planning responsibility. The organisations work collaboratively to assess the risks across the West Midlands, via a risk register and ensure that appropriate plans are in place to respond appropriately.