Under the Civil Contingencies Act (2004), NHS organisations and providers of NHS funded care must demonstrate that they can plan for and respond to significant incidents, emergencies and business continuity incidents while maintaining services. This work is referred to in the health service as ‘Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response’ (EPRR). The requirements for how local health organisations carry out their EPRR responsibilities are set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

A significant incident or emergency is any event that cannot be managed within routine service arrangements. It requires the implementation of special procedures and involves one or more of the emergency services, the NHS or a local authority. 

The NHS needs to be able to plan for, and respond to, a wide range of incidents that could impact on health or patient care. These could be anything from prolonged periods of severe pressure, extreme weather conditions, an outbreak of an infectious disease, or a major transport accident.

Whilst NHS England and NHS Improvement remains the category one responder (along with the acute trusts) they have delegated the function of co-ordinating health services in any major incident or emergency across Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System (ICS).  NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to co-ordinate any major incidents which require wider support across county borders.

The ICS has an Incident Response Plan for major incidents, and business continuity plans to deal with significant issues that may face the organisation.

Our EPRR role is to:

  • Ensure contracts with provider organisations contain relevant emergency preparedness, resilience (including business continuity) and response elements
  • Support NHS England in discharging its EPRR functions and duties locally
  • Provide a route of escalation for the Local Health Resilience Partnership (LHRP) should a provider fail to maintain necessary EPRR capacity and capability
  • Fulfil the responsibilities as a Category two responder under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 and support NHS England and NHS Improvement to deliver their Category one duties
  • Maintain business continuity plans
  • Be represented on the LHRP
  • Seek assurance provider organisations are delivering their contractual obligations.

We do this by:

  • Working with the LHRP to develop strategic multi-agency plans for responding to emergencies
  • Participating in training and exercises which are used to review multi-agency plans
  • Assisting with the local co-ordination of the response to emergencies in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • Working with the LHRP to ensure the capacity, skills and competencies required are in place to co-ordinate the local health response to an emergency
  • Undertaking regular performance monitoring of ICS-commissioned and NHS funded services
  • Co-operating with the multi-agency planning and response network in accordance with the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (as amended) requirements as a category two responder
  • Ensuring a 24 hour a day, seven day a week on-call system
  • Ensuring compliance with the national core standards for EPRR for the ICS and NHS funded healthcare providers
  • Maintaining business continuity plans to ensure ICS service delivery is maintained. 


The following policies were ratified by the previous clinical commissioning groups in Hampshire and Isle of Wight

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