Emergency Planning

Health written question – answered on 29th June 2004.

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Photo of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Geoffrey Clifton-Brown Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 24 May 2004, Official Report, column 1378W, on emergency planning, when the well-developed major incident plans were last monitored by the Department; what form the tests took; and what steps he will take to satisfy himself that the major incident plans will work in a serious emergency, with particular reference to a terrorist attack.

Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (Health)

Each strategic health authority (SHA) in England is responsible for the routine and regular assessment of the emergency preparedness plans of national health service organisations in its area. Health organisations are themselves required to conduct internal tests and reviews and to include a statement of preparedness in their annual reports.

In addition to routine feedback, the Department conducted specific national assessments of emergency preparedness via the SHAs in January 2003 and again at the end of that year as part of a wider regional capabilities mapping exercise.

Each NHS organisation can call upon specialist advice and support from the Health Protection Agency and is expected take part in external multi agency exercises and report results to its SHA. Although based on an all-hazards approach, national guidance requires that emergency preparedness plans make specific provision for responding to terrorist threats.

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