Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response

The way in which the NHS prepares itself for significant or major incidents has followed the same models and patterns for many year, historically each organisation carries out what it feels is necessary within its own boundaries, coming out to share the demands generated on other partners then retreating back within its structures again.

Within Greater Manchester we tried to really bring the cooperative requirement to the fore. All our providers are members of a joint collaboration (GM Acute Group - GMAG) where they come together and identify ways to help each other sharing the work-load and the exercising for example so by default sharing the lessons identified.

Alongside this we, in NHS England, set about the strategic interaction in an alternative fashion as well - all our partner agencies were looking to maximise joint working whilst at the same time minimising the requirements for group and sub-groups to meet routinely. This was achieved through the generosity of Greater Manchester Police hosting a shared resilience team area in their Force Headquarters building where police, fire, ambulance, local authority and NHS resilience managers all have office space to work together on a daily basis. This has not only greatly cut down on the need to have numerous groups meeting but also contributes towards far greater sharing and understanding across multi-agency resilience planning.

The NHS can now align our own internal EPRR work and multi-agency engagement in an effective and cooperative environment, its not all perfect but it is certainly a better place than we used to be, as demands continue to increase and resources become more challenged it is the way we work that is our only solution.

Colin Kelsey Head of EPRR NHS England (GM)
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