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Emergency Preparedness

Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, the Trust is required to plan for major incidents and put strategies in place to return to 'business as normal' as soon as possible after an event.


An emergency is an event that threatens human welfare or the environment, or a major security incident or threat such as a terrorist act or war.  Emergencies could strike at any time, and the Trust's patients, service users, staff and others involved in our business could be severely affected by a major flood, fire, failure of utility services or severe weather such as heavy snow, heat wave or a period of very cold weather.

A major incident or emergency may also result in damage to an extent where facilities such as wards or clinics need to be evacuated, or conversely people may be required to stay inside a building for a period of time.

Emergency Planning

This is the general term for work that the Government, the NHS, emergency services, local authorities etc. all routinely do to prepare for an emergency situation.

Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, the Trust is required to plan for major incidents and put strategies in place to return to 'business as normal' as soon as possible after an event.  This of course necessitates working with partner agencies to share information, participate in joint training and exercising and devise consistent plans for implementation in an emergency.

Role of the Trust 

  • To have plans in place for major incidents and business continuity.  The Trust has a corporate Major and Critical Incident Plan, and individual service lines have their own Business Continuity Plans to reflect their specific areas of operation.

  • To train staff to enable them to manage a major incident or emergency

  • To actively participate in multi-agency partnership working with other interested parties i.e. Local Authorities, Police, Fire and Rescue,  Ambulance Service, Voluntary Sector

  • To share information with those who may be affected by our activities 

  • To warn, inform and advise the public about emergencies 

Partnership Working

A major incident is something which by definition cannot be managed internally by the Trust so partnership working is absolutely vital to ensure that there is a coordinated response to emergency situations so that disruption to patients, service users, staff and other people affected by our activities is kept to a minimum.  The Trust fulfils its obligations in respect of partnership working by: 

  • Attending the Essex Resilience Forum.  This is a multi-agency committee where emergency planning issues in Essex are discussed and coordinated responses agreed.
  • Participating in 'table-top' and live exercises in all three boroughs designed to test existing arrangements and identify where improvements are needed. 
  • Participating in NHS major incident meetings and training exercises.
  • Sharing information with partner agencies regarding threats to human welfare.
  • Reviewing and revising its major incident and business continuity plans in light of changing circumstances. 

Community Risk Register

Risks within Essex are documented in a Community Risk Register.  A risk level is assigned based on the likelihood that an incident may take place, and the potential impact it could have.  This directs planning and ensures organisations are prepared for the emergencies or risks most likely to occur, and which will have the biggest impact.  

Trust Risk Register

The Trust Risk Register works exactly in the same way as the community risk register i.e. identification of emergency situations or risks, an assessment of how likely they are, and an evaluation of their impact.  

Further Information 

For further information on emergency planning and business continuity planning please contact:

Partner organisations can view our current emergency plans via ResilienceDirect