Spotlight on: our Emergency Planning team
“Plan for the worst and expect the unexpected.” Our Emergency Planning team go by this motto and work to ensure we’re prepared in the event of a major incident.
The team, made of Paul Holley-Smith (EPRR Lead), Simon Wardale (Security Manager & EPRR Officer) and Hayley Piddington (Acting EPRR Officer), are constantly developing and updating emergency plans, communicating with all our critical departments so that they know how quickly to respond to an emergency.
“We have plans in place for everything that could possibly happen, and situations in which lots of injured patients could arrive, in a short period of time, to the hospital,” says Hayley.
“Our mass casualties plan is updated yearly, and we make sure ED, Critical Care, Theatres, Maternity, Laboratories and Radiology have up-to-date incident plans and action cards.
“We also have plans in place in case we need to evacuate the hospital, something that, luckily, has never happened but colleagues must know we’re ready.”
Hayley was recently involved in ‘Business Continuity Week’ to help raise awareness about contingency planning.
“A good business continuity plan will ensure potential problems, which may affect the service, are mitigated or the risks reduced to an acceptable level. But where this is not possible robust and tested contingencies must be in place,” said Hayley.
Hayley and her colleagues also update the business continuity plans for the hospital and run training courses for colleagues.
“We’re always trying to share the learning and best practices with our colleagues, getting the word out there about what documents are important,” added Hayley.
“Our main responsibility is to make sure departments are ready once our Ops Centre/Command and Control activate a business continuity, critical or major incident.
“Imagine if something happens during the night, when usually wards have fewer staff. Everyone needs to know how to act quickly. That’s why our action cards are very easy to read and they explain, step by step, what do to.
“With our Trust getting bigger and recruiting more colleagues and creating new services and departments there’s the need for more continuity plans and that’s what we’re working on at the moment.”
Hayley used to work in a clinical role before joining the team. She has worked in major trauma centres across the country as well as in ED.
“Having this experience really helps me and the team. I use my clinical knowledge to make sure plans are correctly designed and easily scalable across the different areas of the hospital,” said Hayley.
“Our work is strategic, tactical and operational. There isn’t such a thing as overpreparing. I believe we always need to be ready for the worst-case scenario and need to have the necessary cover.
“We also often run table-top exercises to explain colleagues what to do in emergency situations and how to prioritise their workloads.”