Emergency Preparedness

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NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board is responsible for planning and buying (or ‘commissioning’) NHS-funded healthcare for the almost 1 million people living in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

Emergencies, such as infectious diseases (Flu/Covid pandemic), floods, extreme weather conditions (such as heavy snow or storms) and major service disruption (for example, involving fuel or utilities) can have a massive impact on our personal lives, our personal health and our ability to deliver critical services.

We ensure that we can effectively respond to such emergencies in partnership with the emergency services, the Local Authorities, the voluntary sector and other responders. Our aim when responding to an incident is to limit the effect of the incident on people’s normal way of life – by taking action with our partners to:

  • continue delivery of our critical services
  • help the most vulnerable
  • minimise the impact on our communities

On behalf of all of the Health bodies in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, we coordinate all the providers of healthcare (acute hospitals, mental health, community health etc) to respond to incidents and link them into the Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) and supports them to connect to multi-agency partners.

The Integrated Care Board is a Category 1 Responder under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and acts a coordinating responder rather than a front line responder, coordinating the activities of the wider health system to support critical and major incidents.

To deliver our aims, we work in close partnership with our partners through the LRFs. We are a member of two LRFs:

  • Bedfordshire Local Resilience Forum
  • Thames Valley Resilience Forum

Both of these groups work to ‘integrate’ the response of all organisations that would be involved in managing an emergency incident in Bedfordshire, Luton or Milton Keynes and to deliver the requirements of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. Membership of these groups includes the emergency services, the NHS, Local Authorities, utility companies and voluntary sector organisations.

The majority of our emergency plans are joint multi-agency plans developed through partnership working.

This programme of work is referred to in the health community as emergency preparedness, resilience and response (EPRR).

NHS England EPRR Guidance & Framework

Our Organisational Resilience Team is responsible for EPRR including Business Continuity for the ICB and coordinate across Health.

We ensure, through the NHS Core Standards Assurance process that health providers have all the plans in place to ensure that their statutory duties are met under CCA 2004 and that all business continuity plans are in place.

NHS England Core Standards for EPRR