Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR)

Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR)

The NHS needs to plan for, and respond to, a wide range of incidents and emergencies that could affect health or patient care. These could be anything from extreme weather conditions, to an outbreak of an infectious disease, or a major transport accident.

The Civil Contingencies Act (CCA 2004) and the NHS Act 2006 (as amended) require NHS organisations, and providers of NHS-funded care, to show that they can deal with such incidents while maintaining services. This programme of work is referred to in the health community as Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR).

The CCA 2004 specifies that responders will be either Category 1 (primary) responders or Category 2 responders (supporting agencies). CCGs are Category 2 responders, and are expected to work closely with partners. They are required to co-operate with, and support other, Category 1 and Category 2 responders. CCGs are also expected to provide support to NHS England in relation to the co-ordination of their local health economy.

Dianne Johnson, Chief Executive, is the CCG’s Accountable Emergency Officer (AEO). She has statutory responsibility for the EPRR arrangements of NHS Knowsley CCG as a Category 2 responder under the CCA 2004. As such, she has executive authority and responsibility for ensuring that the organisation complies with legal and policy requirements, providing assurance to the Governing Body that strategies, systems, training, policies and procedures are in place to ensure an appropriate response by the CCG in the event of an incident.

The AEO is supported by Dr Sue Benbow, Clinical Advisor - Secondary Care Doctor, who is also a member of the Governing Body. Part of her role is to endorse assurance to the Governing Body that the CCG is meeting its EPRR obligations and relevant statutory duties under the CCA 2004 and the NHS Act 2006 (as amended). This includes assurance that the organisation has allocated sufficient, experienced and qualified resource to meet these requirements.

The EPRR responsibilities require the CCG to not only assure itself that the services it has commissioned for the population of Knowsley have plans in place to respond to and recover from emergencies, but that it also has its own plans in place.

NHS England has a process in place to check this is the case, requiring NHS commissioners (like Knowsley CCG) and service providers, for example hospitals, to complete an annual self-assessment. The CCG has declared itself as demonstrating ‘full’ compliance with the 43 EPRR core standards for 2018/19. The CCG’s Governing Body agreed this position statement at their October 2018 meeting. All Governing Body meeting papers can be seen on the ‘About Us’ page (Governing Body section) of the CCG’s website.